GLRI-logoby Matt Evans, MUCC Legislative Manager
The Michigan Legislature will start back up this week after a few weeks off for the Holidays. However, when they come back on the 14th we don’t expect much action as they will mostly be getting the ceremonial items out of the way, swearing in of legislators, committee assignments, etc. So while things are quiet in Lansing we are going to take the time to focus on what’s going on in our Nation’s Capital where the 114th Congress began session last week.
Last week, Ohio Rep. David Joyce picked up right where he left off last year by introducing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015. For those of you who don’t remember, Rep. Joyce ran an identical bill last year that had bi-partisan support. Rep. Joyce and his supporters were able to get it through the House but it stalled in the Senate during lame duck.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2015 would authorize $300 million annually for the GLRI program. This program supports Fish & Wildlife habitat, the cleanup of toxic pollutions, reducing nutrient runoff, and fighting invasive species like asian carp and sea lamprey. As Michiganders, we understand the importance of the vitality and protection of the Great Lakes and therefore the importance of programs like this. After all, they are the largest concentration of fresh water on the planet and we need to be good stewards of them.
Rep. Joyce’s bill has received similar bi-partisan support so far in the House with three Michigan Representatives signing on as co-sponsors of the bill. Representatives Sander Levin (D-Mich.), Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), and Candice Miller (R-Mich.). If you see your Representative listed here please reach out to them and thank them for their continued support of the Great Lakes. If you don’t see yours listed, please reach out to them and voice your support for this program, asking them to support it as well. As was previously stated, Michigan has the largest concentration of fresh water on the planet and programs like this ensure its health for many years to come. –  Healing Our Waters Initiative
If you want more information on this program and others you can
visit Healing Our Waters Coalition webpage. Or, if you need to know who your Representative in Congress is, you can visit the U.S. House webpage.

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