Pay Per Bill. Mike Nofs delivers to donors.

You’ve got to hand it to Mike Nofs; you contribute to this guy and he really delivers. This time he’s delivering Senate Bill 1084:

Introduced by Sen. Mike Nofs (R) on April 16, 2012, to extend the statute that provides “sovereign immunity” to governments from legal liability and lawsuits, so that it also applies to damage done by the state or a local government to cables, pipes and other underground “facilities”.
Referred to the Senate Energy and Technology Committee on April 16, 2012.

Senator Mike Nofs is the Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee. That probably helps explain why he’s rolling in energy friendly cash. Thanks to the good folks at Common Cause (pdf), we know that he received nearly $50,000 in fracking friendly contributions through 2010. We can head over to the state database for more current info. Energy, energy, construction, engineering, energy. The money keeps rolling in.

So let’s connect the dots.

Dot: SB 1084 is tie-barred to SB 1083, also introduced by Nofs:

…to update and recodify the regulatory regime established by the “Miss Dig” notification system for underground excavation and blasting, which was created in the 1970s to avoid damage to cables, pipes and other underground “facilities”.

So we’re “updating” regulations related to digging, excavating, etc., and limiting the liability for damages caused by same.

Dot: Frack!

Crazy how that takes place almost entirely underground. Just incidental is all I’m saying.


Another big Nofs donor buddy is the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan group, with legislative priorities that include major reductions in regulations and employee protections. Fracking aside, who do you suppose goes around digging and excavating and stuff? Here’s their latest contribution list. All of their available reports are here. Fun reading, not as good as a Harry Potter, but still lots of Death Eaters.

This last dot is the I find to be most interesting and significant, since “state and local governments” bid construction work out to private contractors and engineering companies. Bridge repair, drain work, and everything in between, are always performed by construction and excavating companies. I’d be willing to accept that Miss Dig needed updating (SB 1083), but I’m not convinced we needed a cap on liability (SB 1084). This doesn’t help the people of Michigan.

And that’s your pay per bill presentation for the day. Remember you can get all of this donation info on your mobile device with the Michigan Campaign Finance Search app.

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  1. I think your analysis of SB 1084 is incorrect. The bill would consider actions performed by a municipal corporation under the Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act to be proprietary rather than governmental functions. SB 1084 specifies that proprietary functions are not granted civil immunity. The bill actually does exactly the opposite of what your analysis purports. It makes municipal corporations (which are defied as any city, village, or township, or a combination of 2 or more acting together) specifically liable for any proprietary functions, which is specified to include obligations under the new “MISS DIG” act from SB 1083.

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