The Democrat-controlled Michigan House has proposed a bill that would allow the state to overstep local authority and encumber residents with yet another financial setback.https://legiscan.com/MI/text/HB4479/2023, https://legiscan.com/MI/bill/HB4480/2023
House bills HB 4479 & HB 4480 and the accompanying Senate bills SB 299 & SB 300 are seeking to amend the current 1978 Public Health Code. The bills would force residents who are not connected to a municipal sewer system to purchase an expensive permit and be required to undergo inspections every five years, providing a further financial burden and confusing oversight. If the bill passes, state authorities via the health department would oversee rural septic systems, instead of the local township or county.
Some believe the goal is to push the state’s population into highly controlled cities, attempting to discourage independent rural living by making it too expensive.
This legislation is currently being reviewed but could require every rural home to secure a $3000 permit for their septic system which could be followed by a $500 routine inspection every 5 years. State fees would likely also be assessed in addition.
According to Michigan Representative Phil Skaggs’s office, there would be grants available for those who cannot afford the permits. However, House Bill 4480 indicates that to apply for a grant to fix a septic system, a resident would need to prove their income is 300% under the federal poverty line. This type of grant does little to help normal residents. Skaggs represents Kent County and introduced the bill.
Democrat proponents of the bill claim that failing septic systems have contaminated Michigan streams. Skaggs office has been invited to forward documentation on the matter, and as of yet has not. Skaggs office was also unable to provide answers for why septic systems that should last 30 years would need to be inspected every 5 years, or why the state believes they should overstep local authority.
Newaygo County Republican Party strongly opposes this legislation. House bills HB 4479 and HB 4480 and the accompanying Senate bills SB 299 and SB 300 must be stopped. The state should not be allowed to remove local authority.