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Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 24 May 1999



R&D TAX CREDIT LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING
-----------------------------------
     The House and Senate Task Forces on Manufacturing on Monday, May
24, will host a briefing entitled THE STATE OF R&D:  ITS IMPORTANCE TO
THE ECONOMY AND LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES IN THE 106TH CONGRESS. 
Participants will include Julie Gorte of the Northeast-Midwest
Institute, Steve Merrill with the National Academy of Sciences; Pete
Lyons with Senator Domenici, and Mike Cieslak with Senator Bingaman.

     The session will review current legislative proposals.  It will
begin on Monday, May 24, at 3:00 pm in room HC-8 of the U.S. Capitol.

     CONTACTS:  Cameron Taylor with the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) or Tim Daniels with the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (225-5361).


ELECTRICITY RESTRUCTURING, INNOVATION, AND EFFICIENCY
-----------------------------------------------------
     The Northeast-Midwest Institute this week will release a report
on how utility restructuring is a necessary but insufficient step for
achieving ongoing innovation in the electricity industry.  The 21-page
report notes that today's dominant generation technology, based on the
steam turbine, is no more efficient today than it was in the early
1960s.  Early deregulation efforts already are advancing a wave of new
technologies that boost efficiency, increase productivity, and reduce
pollution.  Yet also needed to achieve continued innovation are
policies that remove other barriers to competition.

     CONTACTS:  Julie Gorte and Tina Kaarsberg at the Northeast-
Midwest Institute (544-5200).


ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
--------------------------------
     Seven senators and 14 House members last week asked conferees to
reauthorize the Environmental Management Program (EMP) within the
Water Resources Development Act.  The letters support House provisions
that would maintain the existing 75:25 cost-share requirements and
create a permanent authorization.

     EMP addresses the operation and maintenance needs for the Upper
Mississippi River ecosystem.  The Senate letter was led by Senator
Russ Feingold (D-WI), while the Northeast-Midwest Coalition's Upper
Mississippi River Task Force coordinated the House effort.

     CONTACT:  Ted Illston with the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-
5200).


RENEWABLE ENERGY
----------------
     Senator Jim Jeffords (R-VT) and 53 other senators last week asked
appropriators for an increase for renewable energy  solar, wind,
biomass, hydrogen, geothermal, hydropower  research and development
programs.  Sen. Jeffords is co-chair of the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition.

     CONTACT:  David Hunter with Sen. Jeffords (225-5141).


302(b) APPROPRIATION ALLOCATIONS
--------------------------------
     The House and Senate Appropriations Committees last week
announced their 302(b) allocations, which divide overall
appropriations among the 13 subcommittees.  The table on page 2 of
this update reveals how several panels must reduce spending to stay
within the spending caps.
                                 
                        302(B) Allocations
           (in billions of dollars of budget authority)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Admin
                           Fiscal      FY2000      House      Senate
                            1999      Request     FY2000      FY2000
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Agriculture                 14.0        14.5       13.9        12.6

Commerce-Justice-State*  33.3/27.4      36.9       30.5        27.6

Defense                    251.4       263.1      270.3         NA

District of Columbia*   0.494/0.619    0.394      0.453        0.393

Energy and Water*         21.1/9.1      21.6       19.4         8.2

Foreign Operations          12.8        14.6       10.4        12.5

Interior                    14.0        15.0       11.3        13.4

Labor-HHS                   88.8        91.2       78.1        80.3

Legislative Branch           2.6         2.6        2.5         2.32

Military Construction        8.5         5.4        8.7         NA

Transportation              12.3        13.9       12.7        11.1

Treasury-Postal             13.2        13.9       13.6        11.7
 
VA-HUD                      72.0        69.6       66.2        61.7

TOTALS:                    544.0       562.7      538.0          --

* House and Senate data not comparable due to different baselines
employed by the two panels.  First number listed in FY99 is House;
second number is Senate allocation.

Prepared by the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition