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NORTHEAST-MIDWEST WEEKLY UPDATE -- 30 MARCH 1998




SALT RIVER PROJECT QUESTIONED
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     Reps. Bob Franks (R-NJ) and Marty Meehan (D-MA) on Monday, March
30, wrote letters requesting the General Accounting Office, Interior
Secretary Bruce Babbitt, and Energy Secretary Federico Peña, to
investigate the Salt River Project's (SRP's) apparent use of taxpayer
benefits to obtain private profits.  "If found to be true," wrote the
co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition, "such
actions contradict federal legislation, raise questions about
Reclamation policy, and set a dangerous precedent that will distort
and disrupt the national electricity market substantially."

     Arizona-based SRP pays no federal income tax, enjoys tax-exempt
financing, controls valuable federal electricity and water assets, and
receives below-market preference power from federal utilities.  The
lawmakers expressed their concern that "SRP may be transferring these
special advantages to its for-profit subsidiary that will compete
unfairly with tax-paying businesses throughout the country."

     CONTACT:  Dick Munson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200).


BRIEFING ON WORKFORCE EDUCATION AND TRAINING ISSUES
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     Noting the booming high-tech economy and tight labor supply, on
April 18, the Senate Task Force on Manufacturing will sponsor a
briefing on the importance of having a well-trained and educated
workforce.  The session will be from 2:30 pm to 4:00 p.m. in room 538
of the Dirksen Senate Office Building (Banking Committee hearing
room).

     Three education and employment experts will explore a possible
correlation between actual job opportunities and student achievements,
and how U.S. educational institutions may address the needs of the
high-tech and high-skill economy.  The speakers include:  Dr. Gerald
Bracey, an educational researcher and author of The Truth About
America's Schools:  The Bracey Reports, 1991-97; Dr. Robert Slavin of
the Roots and Wings program developed at John Hopkins University; and
Dr. Richard Lerman, a professor in American University's economics
department, director of the Urban Institute's human resource policy
center, and author of a forthcoming study Building Hope, Skills, and
Careers:  Making a U.S. Youth Apprenticeship System.

     CONTACT:  Geoffrey Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).


SENATE COALITION URGES EXTENSION OF
TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
-----------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition next week will invite
members to sign a letter of support to the Finance Committee's
International Trade Subcommittee for the reauthorization of the trade
adjustment assistance program for firms.

     Trade adjustment assistance is authorized by the Trade Act of
1974 in order to help manufacturers who have lost sales and jobs to
imports.  Once certified as having been hurt by imports, firms receive
cost-shared technical assistance to improve their competitive
position.

     Of the 12 regional trade adjustment centers, six are located in
the Northeast-Midwest — Ann Arbor, MI; Boston; Trenton; Chicago;
Binghamton, NY; and Blue Bell, PA.

     CONTACT: Geoffrey Brown at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition
(224-0606).


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http://www.nemw.org
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