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Posted on Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 12:30 p.m.

Snyder remakes Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth into regulatory affairs department

By Nathan Bomey

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder today ordered a reconfiguration of the state's Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, changing its name to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and shifting many of its previous responsibilities to other departments.

The decision to remake DELEG into a one-stop shop for the state's regulatory activities was long expected and comes after Snyder repeatedly promised during his campaign to streamline the state's regulatory processes.

"Creating a climate of economic growth depends in large part on a simple, fair, efficient and transparent regulatory environment and a focused, efficient state government,” Snyder said in a statement.

“Our new Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will help drive this change by having a more coherent and consistent approach to its mission. By consolidating its core functions under one roof and transferring responsibilities that were not compatible to the appropriate agencies, this streamlined department is better positioned to serve its customers while significantly contributing to our overall goal of fostering economic success."

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will conduct a review of the state's existing regulations and implement changes. The department will be led by Steve Hilfinger, a University of Michigan law school graduate appointed last week as director of DELEG.

Many of DELEG's previous responsibilities will be transferred to other agencies. The Michigan Strategic Fund, which is run by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., will oversee several of DELEG's programs, including the Michigan Next Energy Authority, Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Land Bank Fast Track.

MEDC's Michigan Strategic Fund will also oversee the new Workforce Development Agency, which is absorbing the functions of the Bureau of Workforce Transformation and the Council for Labor and Economic Growth.

Shifting work force development functions to MEDC is a move Snyder's administration hinted at for weeks.

Former Ann Arbor SPARK executive Amy Cell, MEDC's new senior vice president for talent enhancement, is leading the agency's efforts to establish a cohesive talent development strategy.

Snyder's executive order also creates the Michigan Administrative Hearing System, which will operate as an independent agency within the new Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Meanwhile, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will also oversee the Bureau of Health Professions, the Bureau of Health Systems and the Controlled Substances Advisory Commission — all agencies that were previously part of the Department of Community Health.

"The transfer will allow Community Health to concentrate on the actual health care delivery aspects of its duties while allowing Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to oversee the licensing and professional regulatory aspects of these functions," Snyder's administration said in a news release.

DELEG's Disability Concerns Commission, Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Pacific American Affairs Commission and Hispanic/Latino Commission will be shifted to the Department of Civil Rights.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


MoniqueSage M.

Thu, Feb 24, 2011 : 4:49 a.m.

Expecting for a favorable outcome. For the last two years, the Department of Energy has been offering a financial helping hand to clean-energy businesses. I found this here: Congressional commission investigating clean-energy loan promises Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the DOE guaranteed billions of dollars in loans. The truth that not all of these corporations succeeded has some Congress individuals worried. An exploration has been opened to see if the funds were used correctly.

Roger Roth

Thu, Feb 24, 2011 : 1:33 a.m.

I have an idea. Obama grabs a couple trillion and distributes it to states in the form of a bailout. Then another couple trillion for the war against states' receivership. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars will cost at least $4 trillion in the end. Adding another 4 to the national debt won't make any difference now. Surely, there isn't a patriotic American who wouldn't support welfare for states before welfare for corporations, banks, Wall Street and the MIC. Then Governors Rick and Wagner in Wisc. and those in Indiana and Ohio and New Jersey (there's a piece of work) can get on with their back slapping and leave the poor pensioners and public employees to get on with the impossible task of scratching out a meager-and-dwindling middle class standard of living. I forget the name of the Alabama city where pensioners have had their pensions suspended--because the city has no money. How can our fed stand by and watch those people die, and they are dying, after having soaked them and all of us to bail out "banks too big to fail?" If there are, say 200 of them and they each get 20 grand a year on pension even a billion would take care of them for a very long time, centuries, I think, and a billion is chump change compared to a trillion. I seriously doubt this is how America was conceived, But this is our reality. It's immoral and unjustifiable. There are probably few if any governors with net worth under a couple million which, I suggest, may make their realities a little different from those of us who live hand to mouth, with a mortgage and car payment and the potential of ever diminishing expendable income. I grow less trustful of the ruling aristocracy every election cycle. Obama gave me hope but now that's gone.


Thu, Feb 24, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

What most people will eventually wake up to is the fact we too are in the midst of a "coup".

Roger Roth

Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 11:39 p.m.

@rcastentman says, "Mr. Snyder - I hope your changes result in some tangible benefit for me!" I do too, for you, rcastentman, but you see what's going on around the world now. Governments don't work for the huge majority who pay for them. I can predict with reasonable confidence that you will be disappointed in Gov. Rick's performance. I suggest you go out if you can and buy a good pair of shoes so you can hit the streets with the rest of us clobbered middle class government benefactors. I do believe most of us reasonable people would have been satisfied for Reagan's trickle down to work. We accepted their conditioning that it's natural that we should get less, far less than they. We didn't even begrudge the tricklers their windfall. But, as it turns out, we didn't even get a trickle. That's where they screwed up. All they had to do with our hard earned money was to give a tiny little trickle back, maybe in the form of a few smooth roads here and there or a little for our schools But, no. They wanted it all. And they wanted it now. Bad 1%. They had to bailout their banks and insurance cos. and their investment markets and continue to fatten the MIC coffers with bogus wars, all with our money, trillions. (Imagine, DDE , a Rep. warned us about the MIC about 60 years ago!) I do wish you luck with Gov. Rick. When I think about all the ways MI takes my money and then think about all the other ways Lansing takes other people's money, fees and taxes, ways I can't even imagine, many of them well hidden, and then look at our schools and roads, I get really appalled. It is time to mobilize and, shout like the guy in the movie did, "I'm mad as ---- and I'm not taking it anymore!"


Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

Every year I have to renew my state license to allow me to continue working in my trade. Every year I buy a one year license. Can't buy a two year license. Can't buy a four year license. Why? Oh, it would probably put a state worker out of a job. And then there is the fact that I can't use a credit card to pay for my license. Gotta send a check. 25 years I've been doing this. Why won't they change it? Because it would probably put another state worker out of a job. Mr. Snyder - I hope your changes result in some tangible benefit for me!


Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

Hilfinger's contributions to Snyder's campaign paid off, eh? Once again, with a Snyder hire with public salary is listed. Why?


Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

So this must be part of the 22 goals list, specifically the $340 million for regulatory and consumer protection. Which can now be interpreted as meaning $340 for protection FROM regulations for corporations.


Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 6:49 p.m.

Will the entire staff of SPARK soon be in Lansing working 'their magic'? Someone better make sure there are some solid performance metrics (and verified by an independent audit) in place to make sure the same sort of outlandish claims of success don't come out of this department.

John Q

Wed, Feb 23, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

More shuffling and more opportunities to grant pay raises to favored appointees.