Nick Krieger (@nckrieger):
Last January, Governor Rick "Big Government" Snyder announced during his State of the State Address that Michigan needed more commissions. Since that time, Snyder has issued executive orders creating at least seven new boards and commissions, some of which appear to be curiously duplicative in nature.
Not to be outdone, the Michigan Senate recently passed SB 992, which would create a statewide drone commission to develop policy on the use of unmanned aircraft. The bill would also preempt all local ordinances and resolutions pertaining to the use of drones. Apart from various government officials who would serve on the drone commission by virtue of their office, the panel would be dominated by representatives of private business and industry. All members of the commission would be appointed directly by the Governor.
The idea of a drone commission first originated in a companion bill that was introduced by State Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) earlier this year. As finally passed by the Senate last Wednesday, the drone commission legislation is reminiscent of another bill sponsored by Casperson — SB 827, which would create a commission of business and industry representatives with the power to veto all proposed Department of Environmental Quality health and environmental safety regulations.
When it comes to the expansion of the state bureaucracy through the creation of new unaccountable boards and commissions, I guess our state lawmakers are just following Governor Snyder's lead.