McBroom: Senate disapproves of Heartwell appointment to NRC

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate exercised its constitutional authority to reject the appointment of former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell to the state’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC) on Thursday.

“Today I voted to disapprove of Governor Whitmer’s appointment of George Heartwell to the state Natural Resources Commission,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan. “The commission is one of the most powerful and impactful government bodies in this state, especially for the Upper Peninsula, where use of the natural resources affects so many parts of our daily lives. Recent policies from the NRC have made law-abiding citizens throughout our state frustrated and distrustful of these decisions and of the people who are making them.

“I have received hundreds of calls, emails, visits and letters from my constituents, expressing their anger and frustration over Mr. Heartwell’s appointment, especially given his stance and actions on guns and his association with anti-hunting groups. His appointment was seen by many Second Amendment advocates, hunters, anglers and outdoorsmen and women as a threat to their rights and unfit to represent their positions.

“Given the NRC, a citizen’s commission, regulates the taking of game and fish, designates game species, establishes the hunting seasons and advises other DNR policies — decisions that directly impact thousands — it is important that we have commissioners whom the people can trust. I am hopeful that future appointments will be independent, critical thinkers about our state’s natural resources policies and will not have a background that leads to such a huge level of mistrust.”

The Michigan Constitution grants the state Senate with the advice and consent role to either approve or disapprove gubernatorial appointments within 60 session days of the appointment.

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Sen. Ed McBroom speaks from the Senate floor on his vote to disapprove the appointment of George Heartwell to the state Natural Resources Commission