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W E E K L Y     U P D A T E   February 29, 2016
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NEMWI Report Provides In-Depth Analysis of President's FY2017 Budget Request

The Northeast-Midwest Institute's (NEMWI) in-depth analysis of the President's FY2017 Budget Request is now available. NEMWI annually analyzes the budget request for funding levels, provisions, and newly proposed initiatives that will greatly impact the NEMW region's economy and environment. In this year's analysis, we focus on a selection of programs and initiatives in five areas of interest:
  • Economic and Workforce Development
  • Energy Assistance, Efficiency, and Supply
  • Aquatic Resources
  • Water and Transportation Infrastructure
  • Neighborhood and City Revitalization
Based on this analysis, the FY2017 budget request reflects considerable support for the manufacturing sector, clean energy and energy efficiency, and land and water conservation. The budget displays less support, however, for restoration of the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, block grant programs for community development and low-income home energy assistance, and commercial harbor maintenance.

For more information, contact  Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst,  at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 
Capitol Hill This Week:  Hearings on Budget and Brownfields, Markup of GLRI Act

The House Appropriations Committee has scheduled 27 hearings over three days this week to further explore the President's FY2017 budget request. Appropriations Chair Rep. Hal Rodgers (R-KY) aims to begin marking up bills the week of March 14, right after the House of Representatives returns from a week-long district work period. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has stated that he would like the full House to begin consideration of Appropriations bills in early April. The Senate has scheduled ten hearings this week with various departments and agencies. Full schedules for the week are available  here  ( House) and here (Senate). 

Additionally, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee will mark up the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Act (H.R. 223 and t he Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will hold a legislative hearing on the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development  ( BUILD) Act  (S. 1479). 

The House will consider the 21st Century Workforce Development Act (H.R. 4583), which is geared toward improving job opportunities in the energy and manufacturing fields; the bill passed out of the Committee on Energy & Commerce last week on Voice Vote.  The Senate aims to continue work on the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 ( S. 524 ), but could also revisit a bipartisan energy bill ( S. 2012 ) that has stalled out because of efforts to include additional aid to address the current drinking water emergency in Flint, Michigan. While a final deal has yet to be struck to move forward with votes on the energy bill, Michigan and other Northeast and Midwest lawmakers continue to push for language that includes infrastructure funding for Flint and other communities facing lead contamination to their drinking water supplies.

Other notable events this week include:

  • House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power legislative hearing to Examine Pipeline Safety Reauthorization, 10:00 AM, 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
  • House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources hearing on "Getting Incentives Right: Connecting Low-Income Individuals with Jobs," 10:00 AM, 1100 Longworth House Office Building
  • House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry hearing on "Voluntary Conservation: Utilizing Innovation and Technology," 2:00 PM, 1300 Longworth House Office Building
  • Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing on "Economic Opportunities from Land Cleanup Programs and a Legislative Hearing on 3 Measures," including the BUILD Act, 9:30 AM, 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building
  • House Transportation & Infrastructure full committee markup, including Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act, 10:00AM, 2167 Rayburn House Office Building
  • House Science, Space, & Technology Subcommittees on Energy and Oversight hearing on "Department of Energy Oversight: The DOE Loan Guarantee Program," 9:30 AM, 2318 Rayburn House Office Building
For more information, contact Matthew McKenna , Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program,  or Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst,  at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 
NEMW Coalition Members Circulate Appropriations Letters to Support Regional Priorities

Members of the NEMW Congressional Coalition are beginning to draft and circulate letters to fellow House members seeking their support for regionally-important programs. These letters, sent to leadership on the Appropriations Committee, communicate support for various programs and/or levels of funding. 

The first letter to circulate this year is one in support of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative:
  • The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI): led by Reps. Sander Levin (MI-9), David Joyce (OH-14) and Louise Slaughter (NY-25); requests an increase of $50 million from the President's FY2017 budget request to provide a total of $300 million to the GLRI, the same amount that it received in FY2016. The deadline for member offices to sign onto this letter is March 14.  
More letters are expected to circulate in the coming weeks.

For more information, contact Matthew McKenna , Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program,  or Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst,  at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 
NEMWI's Matthew McKenna welcomes briefing attendees

NEWMI Cohosts Briefing on Invasive Carp

Last Tuesday, February 23, NEMWI--in conjunction with the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee--held a Congressional Briefing on invasive carp and the Great Lakes region. The briefing focused on the current state of and response to the threat that invasive carp pose to the Great Lakes and the actions that are and will be taken to defuse the threat. Representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, U.S. Army Crops of Engineers and the U.S. Geological Survey all spoke at the briefing, which was held the same week as both the National Invasive Species Awareness Week and Great Lakes Days in Washington, D.C. A copy of the slide presentation that was given at the briefing can be viewed here.
For more information, contact Matthew McKenna , Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 
NEMWI President & CEO Dr. Michael Goff welcomes breakfast attendees, along with Tim Eder (L) of the Great Lakes Commission

Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast Reception

Last Thursday, February 25, NEMWI cohosted the annual Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast Reception along with the Great Lakes Commission. The breakfast provides Great Lakes stakeholders and other interested parties the opportunity to hear directly from lawmakers about their top Great Lakes priorities for the coming year. The breakfast, which was attended by over 120 people, included remarks from Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Representatives Mike Quigley (D-IL), David Joyce (R-OH), Debbie DIngell (D-MI), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Mike Kelly (R-PA), and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH). Additionally, Representative Joyce Beatty (D-OH) was in attendance and staff from Sen. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) office provided a brief update on the Great Lakes issues being worked on by the Senator. Further details and photos from the breakfast will be made available on NEMWI's website this week.
For more information, contact Matthew McKenna, Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces New Round of TIGER Funding

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the availability of  $500 million for transportation projects across the country under an eighth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program. TIGER  supports innovative surface transportation projects, including multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects, which are difficult to fund through traditional federal programs. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, ports, and transit agencies. A pplications are due April 29, 2016. 

For more information, contact Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute. 

NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation