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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 27 March 2000



BRIEFING:  SMART GROWTH
-----------------------
      The Senate Smart Growth Task Force, House Sustainable
Development Caucus, and Livable Communities Task Force on
Wednesday, July 29, are hosting a briefing on the
Community/Federal Information Partnership Program.  The U.S.
Geological Service and the U.S. Park Service use this
geographical information system (GIS), allowing for better
mapping and imaging of growth patterns.

      The Wednesday briefing will begin at 2:00 pm in room 329 of
the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

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


BRIEFING:  DELAWARE, POTOMAC, AND SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BASINS
----------------------------------------------------------
      Reps. Robert Borski (D-PA), Michael Castle (R-DE), Maurice
Hinchey (D-NY), Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Connie Morella (R-MD)
have invited representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to brief staff on their
agencies' programs and projects that impact the Delaware,
Potomac, and Susquehanna river basins.  Agency representatives
also will discuss programs in other regions that could be
replicated within the three river basins.

      The briefing will take place on Friday, March 31, in room
121 of Cannon House Office Building, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Similar briefings, on subsequent Friday afternoons, are planned
for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture.

      CONTACT: George Dusenbury with the Northeast-Midwest
Institute (464-4008).


MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP
-----------------------------------
      Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME),
co-chairs of the Senate Task Force on Manufacturing, are
circulating a letter that asks appropriators to support the
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program (MEP) of the National
Institute of Standards and Technology.  A similar letter is being
circulated in the House by Reps. James Barcia (D-MI) and Sherwood
Boehlert (R-NY).

      The MEP program helps small and mid-sized American
manufacturers modernize to compete in the demanding global
marketplace.  More than 70 non-profit MEP centers with over 300
field offices now serve firms in all fifty states and Puerto
Rico.  Over 75,000 small and mid-sized manufacturers have
benefitted from the MEP program.

      The senators support the administration's requested fiscal
2001 baseline of $99.8 million.  They also are seeking $30
million for the eBusiness initiative.

      CONTACT:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) and Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-8636).


TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE
---------------------------
      Eighteen senators last week asked appropriators to provide
$18 million in fiscal 2001 for the Trade Adjustment Assistance
for Firms (TAA) program at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  TAA
has a successful history of assisting small and mid-sized
manufacturing firms and agricultural businesses experiencing
sales and job losses due to imports.

      Since 1994, TAA has saved and/or created 62,093 jobs
nationwide by assisting firms whose decline in sales were the
direct result of imports.  A recent independent evaluation of the
TAA program by the Urban Institute found that firms completing
TAA assistance had a higher survival rate and had increased both
sales and employment levels when compared to firms that did not
proceed with the implementation of their adjustment strategy.

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


ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS
--------------------
      Senators Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Bill Frist (R-TN) are
circulating a letter asking appropriators to support research and
a screening program associated with endocrine disrupters.  They
requested that the Environmental Protection Agency program
receive $18.5 million in fiscal 2001, an increase of $10.8
million over the president's request.  The funds would allow EPA
to validate screens and tests required by the 1996 Food Quality
Protection Act to identify hormone-disrupting chemicals.

      A similar House letter is being led by Reps. Sherrod Brown
(D-OH), Bob Franks (R-NJ), Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), and Thomas
Barrett (D-WI).

      CONTACTS:  Cameron Taylor at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (224-0606) and Lara Levinson with Rep. Brown (225-3401)
or Jennifer Getz with Rep. Franks (225-5361).


LIHEAP
------
      Reps. Joe Moakley (D-MA) and Jack Quinn (R-NY) are
circulating a letter asking appropriators to support the Low
Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Throughout the
current oil price crisis, when costs of home heating oil have
soared more than 120 percent, LIHEAP has been a virtual life-line
for our most vulnerable seniors and working families struggling
to keep their homes warm.  Last summer, as heat waves devastated
the nation, LIHEAP was there again to cool the homes of those in
need.

      Under current funding levels, only 15 percent of the 29
million households that meet LIHEAP's income eligibility
requirements are able to be assisted.  The lawmakers, therefore,
seek a modest increase in fiscal 2001 to $1.4 billion, as well as
$300 million in emergency funding.

      A similar Senate letter, spearheaded by the Northeast-
Midwest Senate Coalition, was sent last week from 42 senators.
An addendum is still open.

      CONTACTS:  Steve LaRose with Rep. Moakley (225-8273) or Mark
Maier with Rep. Quinn (225-3306), and Cameron Taylor at the
Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (224-0606).


ENERGY STAR
-----------
      Reps. Sam Gejdenson (D-CT) and Jim Greenwood (R-PA) this
week will be circulating a letter that asks appropriators to
support the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star
program.  Energy Star is a voluntary, market-based initiative
that highlights efficient products and processes.  Energy Star
computers and other office products are estimated to save
businesses and consumers over $1 billion in energy costs per
year, and Energy Star televisions and VCRs will save consumers up
to $500 million each year.

      CONTACTS:  Tim Daniels at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (226-8636).


JOB OPENINGS
------------
      The Northeast-Midwest Institute has three job vacancies 
environmental research assistant, environmental policy analyst,
and rural development analyst.  Job descriptions are posted on
the Institute's web site  http://www.nemw.org/jobs.htm.

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