Michigan House Republicans
Unaccountable Bureaucrats failing to do their jobs
RELEASE|April 18, 2024

By: State Rep. Pauline Wendzel

One of the most important things state government does is serving the hardworking people who call our state home.  The absolute last thing it should do is create unnecessary roadblocks that stops Michiganders from living their lives and earning a living.  Unfortunately, bureaucrats at DEGLE are doing just that by slow walking permits to Southwest Michigan blueberry farmers.

After more than a year of stalling, the unelected bureaucrats at the DEGLE have refused to issue permits to local blueberry farmers so they can operate their facilities and grow Southwest Michigan’s favorite fruit. In emails to Senator Nesbitt’s office and my office, DEGLE has contradicted themselves and provided no straight answers on what the delay is or why they’re refusing to let these small family farms grow our food. They have refused to even provide a timeline on when expected actions may be taken.

Crops don’t wait. Seasons don’t wait. Our farmers’ jobs are difficult enough as they are. This year gave us a warm winter and many crops are already failing. Farmers have a limited timeframe to grow and process crops to feed millions of Americans and what do Gov. Whitmer’s bureaucrats have to say in response? Deafening silence.

In addition to the Whitmer bureaucracy refusing to issue permits to local farmers, Lansing Democrats have introduced Senate Bill 663 and House Bill 5205 that would cause the legislature to relinquish its authority and responsibility over rulemaking for farming and food processing, which would only exacerbate delays and denials in permits to family farmers and food processors while driving the already too-high cost of groceries even higher.

Michigan is the 2nd most agriculturally diverse state in the nation, and Southwest Michigan is one of the top blueberry producing regions in the country. It’s saddening to see Governor Whitmer and her Democrats in the legislature do everything they can to suffocate Michigan farmers with more and more useless red tape. This is unacceptable, and Michigan farmers deserve better. 

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