The following text was taken primarily from the Nonpartisan Michigan Voter Guide sponsored in large part by the League of Women Voters.
A PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO REQUIRE THAT MONEY HELD IN CONSERVATION AND RECREATION FUNDS CAN ONLY BE USED FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSES
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
- Create a Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund within the Constitution and establish existing conservation and recreation accounts as components of the fund.
- Use current funding sources such as state park entrance and camping fees; snowmobile, ORV and boating registration fees; hunting and fishing license fees; taxes and other revenues to fund accounts.
- Establish the current Game and Fish Protection Fund and the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund within the Constitution.
- Provide that money held in Funds can only be used for specific purposes related to conservation and recreation and cannot be used for any purpose other than those intended.
If you vote YES:
Proposal 1 would establish the “Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund,” the “Game and Fish Protection Trust Fund,” and the “Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund” within our State Constitution. Voting “Yes” will constitutionally protect boating, hunting, fishing, snowmobile, ORV, state park and forest entry fees, and camping fees from being used to balance the state budget. This is not a tax hike or fee increase, and will not change any fees. This protects the funds that you already pay into when you buy a license, pay DNR fees, or register your snowmobile, ORV or boat. Activities such as upkeep of boating and camping facilities, trail development, wildlife management and habitat, conservation officers, and public access sites are supported by these funds and get no monies from the general fund state budget. Proposal 1 has broad, bi-partisan support.
If you vote NO:
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Opponents of this proposal say that this proposal is another attempt to earmark state revenue for special purposes and should not be put in the state’s Constitution. The Legislature needs flexibility to respond to economic conditions. This amendment will mean the Legislature can not use these funds for any other purposes, no matter what the other needs of the state might be. By protecting these funds, this proposal will limit the Legislature and the Governor’s ability to use their judgment in determining the best way to balance the state’s budget and to spend tax dollars to best serve current and future Michigan residents. The language in this proposal is virtually the same as the current statutory language restricting these funds so all this amendment will accomplish is to make it more difficult and costly to change these restrictions if that is needed in the future.