State Charts Course for Privatization of Boat Inspections

LANSING — State lawmakers on the Senate Hunting, Fishing, and Forestry Committee voted unanimously Oct. 5 to support a bill that would privatize the inspection of charter boats on Michigan waters. The bill was introduced at the request of officials at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "We initiated it," said Lt. Lyle Belknap, a boating law administrator with the DNR. "It goes along with privatizing government programs better served by the public than by us. There's a whole host of firms that do this for their livelihood." The DNR performs about 750 inspections each year, only 25 of which are of a for-profit, commercial nature.