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Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 29 March 1999

     Fifteen members of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition last
week initiated a two-pronged preemptive strike at potential budget
cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  They
offered a Sense of the Senate amendment, which was approved, and they
are collecting signatures on a letter to appropriators about LIHEAP

     The successful Sense of the Senate amendment to the budget
resolution, spearheaded by Senator James Jeffords (R-VT), seeks to
maintain "at least current expenditures (including emergency funding)
for LIHEAP."  Current expenditures are $1.1 billion in regular funding
and $300 million in emergency funding.

     The Coalition's appropriations letter, signed by 34 senators to
date, supports $1.2 billion for LIHEAP in fiscal 2000.  Lawmakers
argue that this request is modest in light of the program's 48 percent
funding decline since 1985.

     CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606).

     The Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, along with its Great
Lakes Task Force, are circulating two appropriations letters that
address a variety of water quality and farmland protection programs. 
To the agriculture panel, the senators express funding support for the
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP),
Conservation Operations, Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Farmland Preservation
Program, and the Great Lakes Basin Program for Soil Erosion and
Sediment Control.  To the VA-HUD panel, the letter highlights the
Clean Water State Revolving Fund, the Drinking Water State Revolving
Fund, Water Quality Grants, Pollution Prevention State Grants, Non-
point Source Management Grants (Section 319 of the Clean Water Act),
and the Clean Lakes Program.

     The Great Lakes Task Force traditionally has written to the
appropriate appropriations subcommittees on behalf of these programs. 
However, as these programs are of significance to the entire
Northeast-Midwest region, the group's leaders decided to send this
year's letters from the entire Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition.

     CONTACTS:  Rochelle Sturtevant (224-1211) and Cameron Taylor
(224-0606) at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition.

      Nineteen members of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition last week led a group of 121 House members in writing to
Chairman James Walsh of the VA-HUD Appropriations Subcommittee in
support of funding brownfield programs.  The letter pays particular
attention to brownfield initiatives by the Environmental Protection
Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

     CONTACT:  Tim Daniels with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition (225-5361).

     In last minute negotiations over the House Budget resolution,
three northeastern members of the Budget Committee  Reps. Bob Franks
(R-NJ), Charles Bass (R-NH) and Christopher Shays (R-CT)  succeeded
in inserting the following language:  "The Budget Committee recognizes
the importance of stewardship and management of our National Wildlife
Refuges, National Forests, National Parks, and Bureau of Land
Management Lands, and for continued permanent protection of land,
water, and recreational opportunities through the Land and Water
Conservation Fund."

     In order to fund the upkeep of public lands and the purchase of
new lands, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) was created in
the Land and Water Conservation Act of 1965.  The LWCF receives
roughly $900 million a year from a tax on off shore royalties on oil

     The Northeast-Midwest Institute is seeking a research assistant
and a policy analyst to work on water quality and ecosystem issues. 
The research assistant will help senior staff advance programs and
policies associated with ecosystem management, paying particular
attention to Great Lakes, water quality, and invasive species issues;
that position will include both project support as well as program
development work.  The policy analyst will help identify innovative
financing associated with non-point source pollution, as well as
advance interstate cooperation associated with Mid-Atlantic river

     More detailed job descriptions are on the Institute's web site:
www.nemw.org.  Applicants are encouraged to fax or e-mail a resume and
writing sample to Allegra Cangelosi at 202/544-0043 or