Michigan Legislature OKs bill to limit tougher regulations

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature has voted to make it harder for regulators to pass stricter regulations than those set by the federal government.

Legislation given final approval 57-51 Tuesday would allow for tougher state environmental and other rules only if they’re authorized by state law or if an agency director determines there’s a “clear and convincing” need for them.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed similar legislation in 2011, but this bill headed to his desk would give more discretion to agency leaders.

Democrats and environmental groups say Michigan shouldn’t rely on federal minimum standards to dictate water and air protections. They say the legislation would hamper Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer.

Republicans and business organizations say the legislation would simply require greater justification for tougher rules.

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