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Signs of the times

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One way to let your neighbor — and nemesis — know where you stand these days is to post a sign in your front yard. “We support our troops,” “Peace,” and “No War” placards have become commonplace.

But if the Michigan Democrats have their way, folks will soon see a new message posted on front lawns. It reads: Stop the trash.” The signs seem a tad self-serving since they also include, in small type, the name of the various state representatives supporting the “trash” campaign.

But according to Dan Farough, press secretary for the House Democratic Caucus, the signs are an attempt to pressure Republican legislators to keep waste from coming into Michigan. Farough says that last year Michigan accepted more than 3 million tons of trash from Canada and other states. The state has received about 2.6 million tons of trash so far this year, he says.

“It is part of an ongoing effort to pressure the Republicans in the House to take action on the trash issue,” says Farough about the sign campaign, which was announced at a press conference last week by state Rep. Aldo Vagnozzi, D-Farmington Hills. Farough says that House Democrats had introduced several bills in the past year that, if passed, would help prevent trash from entering Michigan. But House Speaker Rick Johnson, R-LeRoy, didn’t agree to consider the bills until earlier this month.

“We hope to put politics aside and put forth legislation that curbs Canadian and out-of-state trash,” says Matt Resch, Johnson’s press secretary.

Farough says that the change came after House Democrats threatened to bypass committee discussions and put the bills to a vote. Despite the Republicans’ newfound willingness to review the bills, the Dems plan to continue their “Stop the trash” campaign.

For a free yard sign, call 248-474-3655.

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