Last week Great Lakes Senators introduced legislation that would pool together all the Great Lakes funding programs into one bill that would be voted on once every five years. The Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act of 2010 would provide a sustained stream of money to fight invasive species, clean up toxic hot spots and address restoration priorities in a way that lets us focus on getting the work done and not on asking Congress for appropriations each year.
In the past, our Great Lakes lawmakers would annually introduce the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act, a legislative translation of the strategy for restoration developed by regional stakeholders in 2005. This new bill is a more streamlined approach combining programs already approved by Congress, such as the Great Lakes Legacy Act, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes National Program Office at the EPA. That is why we hope that the Senators that so adamantly supported the GLCIA in the past will cosponsor the new GLEPA.
Former Senate GLCIA cosponsors include: Carl Levin (D-Mich), Sherrod Brown (OH), Robert Casey, Jr. (PA), Dick Durbin (Ill), Charles Schumer (NY), Arlen Specter (PA), Debbie Stabenow (Mich), and George Voinovich (OH).
Senators Levin and Voinovich introduced the new package last week with Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow and Illinois Dick Durban cosponsoring. That leaves, Pennsylvania’s Sen. Casey and Sen. Specter, New York’s Sen. Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, Indiana Sens. Evan Bayh and Dick Lugar and Wisconson’s Senator Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. So, where are your sigs guys? The Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act is a win-win bill for the region. Please sign on!