Senate Bill 277 passes with bipartisan, local support 

LANSING, Mich. (Sept. 26, 2023) — Today, on a bipartisan vote, the Michigan Senate passed Senate Bill 277, legislation sponsored by Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) to allow farmers to rent land for solar operations while maintaining the preservation of farmland enrolled in the PA 116 program.

“This is practical policy that builds on a program that has already been successfully implemented for the past four years,” said Sen. McDonald Rivet. “This legislation is pro-farmer, pro-property rights, and pro-environmentallowing farmers to diversify revenue sources, keeping farms viable so they can stay in their families, while promoting solar operations that help our state’s clean energy transition.

SB 277 has widespread support from a number of agricultural, economic and environmental organizations, including Michigan Conservative Energy Forum, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Evergreen Action, Michigan EIBCSummit Ridge EnergyLightstar Renewables, and the Huron River Watershed CouncilThe bill passed the Senate today with bipartisan support, including that of Sen. Roger Hauck (R-Mt. Pleasant) from Senate District 34, which neighbors Sen. McDonald Rivet’s district.

Sen. McDonald Rivet has been a leader in the Capitol in pursuing win-win policies that bridge her district and the state’s economic, environmental, and land use needs. In addition to SB 277, she has introduced legislation—and successfully created new lawsto expand the scope of projects and properties eligible for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing and allow the use of tax increment financing (TIF) for the development and support of residential housing.