Hi, I’m Jason. I have the privilege to serve as your state representative for Washtenaw, Wayne and Oakland counties. Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
The Protect Michigan Fishing Act
Commercial fishing was once integral to Michigan’s economy. However, current regulations are making it difficult for Michiganders to enter and be successful within the commercial fishing industry. My bill, House Bill 5108 (the Protect Michigan Fishing Act) carefully balances the need to reexamine overly restrictive state policies that hurt small businesses, while ensuring the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remains a strong regulatory body capable of managing our fish population and protecting our Great Lakes. I’m proud of the bipartisan nature of this bill; over 30 members of the House from both sides of the aisle came together to sponsor the Protect Michigan Fishing Act.
- HB 5108 amends Part 473 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to require the DNR to:
- Receive input from licensed commercial fishers in establishing yearly quotas and give notification of those quotas to the Legislature and the governor.
- Establish an annual total allowable catch for lake trout, walleye and perch — appropriating 75% of these species to licensed sport fishers and 25% to state-licensed commercial fishers.
To prevent irresponsible fishing and ensure that the DNR remains a strong regulatory body, my legislation would also:
- Allow the DNR to inspect commercial fishing operations, on board or ashore.
- Allow the DNR to act and levy fines for nets that have not been attended for 30 or more days.
- Provide more funding to DNR for fish management — enabling increased activity that protects a precious resource for all Great Lakes fishers.
- Penalize commercial fishers who possess more than 5 undersized fish with substantial fines.
- Removing northern pike over 20 inches and sturgeon over 42 inches from being caught by commercial fishers.
Michigan Rare Disease Advisory Council
On Oct. 11, I testified before the Senate Health Policy Committee on my bill to create a Rare Disease Advisory Council (RDAC) in Michigan. Nearly 20 organizations and patient advocacy groups were in support.
The RDAC would advise the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and other state agencies on research, diagnosis and treatment efforts related to rare diseases. This council will identify the best ways to enhance the educational resources, care, treatment and support for the 1 in 10 Michiganders who live with rare diseases, their loved ones and their health care providers. I am looking forward to the bill being voted on in committee soon.
DNR Piloting Self-Check-In Reservation Process
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is piloting a new self-check-in process at 13 state parks, so you can skip the line and get to your campsite faster. As found with many hotels and airports, you can virtually check in for your campsite reservation on your time after midnight on the day of arrival. Just log in to your account at MiDNRReservations.com and follow the prompts. You’ll also receive a courtesy reminder email once the self-check-in window is open.
If you already have your Recreation Passport, you can skip the line and go straight to your campsite after 3 p.m. Be prepared to show your booking information to park staff upon request. Don’t have a passport? You can purchase one at the entrance booth before setting up camp. If no staff is present, you can use the self-payment envelope and place it in the designated drop slot.
The pilot will take place at Baraga, Fort Wilkins, Harrisville, Hoffmaster, Holly, Lakeport, Leelanau, Muskegon, Petoskey, Port Crescent, Warren Dunes, Waterloo and Yankee Springs state parks/recreation areas.
Yours in service,
State Representative Jason Morgan
Michigan’s 23rd House District