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Snyder Splits DEQ, DNR

Michigan Governor-elect Rick Snyder will split up the departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources.

Snyder Tuesday announced former agriculture director Don Wyant will be his group executive for Quality of Life, which Snyder's camp says "will bring a more streamlined business management model to state government for the departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Agriculture & Rural Development."  Wyant will also head the Department of Environmental Quality.

Rodney Stokes will serve as director of the Department of Natural Resources.  Keith Creagh will head the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. 

"Reinventing Michigan means reinventing how state government is organized to provide exceptional value to the taxpayers and citizens it serves," Governor-elect Snyder said. "Dan, Keith and Rodney bring exceptional private and public sector experience to this new management model which will allow departments to function better and take successful practices from the private sector and put them to work in government."

The current director of both departments, Rebecca Humphries, is leaving to work for Ducks Unlimited.
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm put state regulation of natural resources and the environment back into one department under a 2009 executive order. Republican Gov. John Engler separated the duties into two agencies in 1995.

Monday, Snyder's team announced John Nixon, the executive director of the Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, would join the Snyder administration at the beginning of the year. 

The nonpartisan Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency estimates the state could face a shortfall approaching $1.7 billion in the budget year that starts Oct. 1, and Nixon said he knows his new job will be tough.

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