The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015 was introduced in the House at the beginning of the year by Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) along with 17 co-sponsors. Since then, eight additional co-sponsors have joined to support the bill, including Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), Sean Duffy (R-Wis.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), and Robert Dold (R-Ill.).
Original co-sponsors include: Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Chris Collins (R-NY), Richard Nolan (D-Minn.) Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Tom Reed (R-NY), Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), James Renacci (R-Ohio), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Candice Miller (R-Mich.), and Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.). The total number of co-sponsors has reached 25.
The Act would authorize the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for five years, at $300 million annually. Currently, the GLRI is not an authorized program, which means there are no assurances the program will be included in the budget at all and no standard funding level proposed. The GLRI Act of 2015 would change that, providing certainty for groups invested in the long-term restoration of the lakes.