Correcting the Record on Michigan Representative Jack O’Malley and Polluter Pay

Thursday, October 6, 2022

The following statement can be attributed to Sean McBrearty, MI Legislative and Policy Director, Clean Water Action:

“At the Cherry Pie Debates last Monday night, Representative Jack O’Malley claimed that he has not heard of the polluter pay bill (HB 4314, 2021) and that no one has reached out to him to advocate in support of the bill, despite the fact that this bill has been introduced in both of his two terms in the State House.

For Clean Water Action and our members, passing HB 4314 to restore our polluter pay law has been a top priority for several years. Upon further analysis, we found that not only was Rep. O’Malley sent a request to co-sponsor the bill, but that several of our members in the 101st district- constituents of Rep. O’Malley - emailed him requesting his support of the bill. We do not know whether any of our members in the 101st district who took the time to advocate for this bill received a response from Rep. O’Malley but we do know he heard from numerous constituents on the matter.

We take Rep. O’Malley at his word that he is unfamiliar with the polluter pay bill. However this raises further questions. This bill garnered 50 co-sponsors before its introduction and the request for co-sponsorship was sent to all State House members and staff. Is Rep. O’Malley intentionally not reading co-sponsor requests or was this one accidentally missed? Is he also not reading emails from constituents that he was elected to represent? Polluter pay has received wide media coverage during this legislative session, especially in the wake of the Tribar hexavalent chromium spill in Oakland County. How is it possible that an elected member of the state legislature has remained ignorant of such a critical issue?

Now that he is familiar with polluter pay, we strongly urge Rep. O’Malley to lead a public sign-on letter from members of the House Republican Caucus to Speaker Wentworth and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Howell urging them to hold hearings on HB 4314 without delay and to advocate for its immediate passage.”

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Since our founding during the campaign to pass the landmark Clean Water Act in 1972, Clean Water Action has worked to win strong health and environmental protections by bringing issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking and people power to the table. Clean Water Action has over 135,000 members across the state. Through direct advocacy and education we organize Michigan residents to protect the Great Lakes and our water resources. Learn more at cleanwater.org/mi

 

Sean McBrearty
(616) 516-7758
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