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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 6 May 2002

*  Press Conference:  Manufacturing Extension Partnership
*  Reception and Conference:  Combined Heat and Power
*  Maine Hearing:  Manufacturing Efficiency
*  Letter:  Mid-Atlantic River Basins
*  Letter:  Childhood Lead Poisoning
*  Update:  Farm Bill
    Reps. Jack Quinn (R-NY), Marty Meehan (D-MA), and James Barcia (D-MI) on Wednesday, May 8, will hold a press conference to support the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program (MEP), which enhances the competitiveness of small and mid-sized firms.  Also at the press conference will be representatives of small manufacturing firms from New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan.
    The presidentís fiscal 2003 budget cut the MEP by 88 percent, from $106 million to only $13 million.  The Northeast-Midwest Coalition is requesting $110 million, a figure supported in a letter to appropriators by 226 representatives, or more than half the House.
    The May 8 press conference will begin at 12:00 noon in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.
    Contact:  Olwen Huxley at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (226-9497).

    The Northeast-Midwest Coalitions on Wednesday, May 8, will host a congressional reception for advocates of combined heat and power (CHP) technologies.  CHP provides the efficient production of both electricity and heat from the same fuel.  The reception is associated with the annual convention of the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association, information on which can be obtained at www.nemw.org/uschpa.  Congressional members and staff are welcome to attend the conference at the Georgetown University Conference Center and Capitol Hill reception at no cost.
    The May 8 reception will run from 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm in 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Room.
    Contact:  Suzanne Watson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (464-4018).

    Reps. John Baldacci (D-ME) and Tom Allen (D-ME) on Monday, May 6, will host a field hearing in Augusta, Maine, on the role of technology in the future of manufacturing.  The session will focus on means to help manufacturers improve their efficiency and productivity.
    Also participating will be state lawmakers and representatives of the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, University of Maine System, Maine Science & Technology Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, and Maine State Chamber of Commerce.
    The hearing will run from 9:00 am until 12:30 pm in Jewett Hall at the University of Maine, Augusta.  The Northeast-Midwest Institute helped organize the event.
    Contact: Suzanne Watson at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (464-4018).

    Rep. George Gekas (R-PA) is leading an effort to restore federal funding authorization for the Susquehanna, Delaware and Potomac River Basin Commissions within the Water Resources Development Act of 2002.  These three commissions are responsible for managing their respective watershed resources in the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.  House offices having questions or wanting to sign the letter should contact Bill Tighe with Rep. Gekas (225-4315).

    Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Robert Torricelli (D-NJ) are circulating a letter requesting at least $200 million for the Department of Housing and Urban Developmentís lead-safe housing grant initiative.  An estimated 25 million homes nationwide face lead hazards.  The Northeast-Midwest region has the greatest portion of pre-1940's homes, the housing most likely to include lead-based paint.
    Contact:  Kara Stein with Sen. Reed (224-4705).

    The House of Representatives on Thursday, May 2, approved the farm bill conference report by a vote of 280 to 141, clearing the way for final action in the Senate.  A motion to recommit offered by Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), which would have reinstated Senate-passed commodity program payment limitations and increased funding for conservation, nutrition, research and renewable energy programs, failed by a vote of 172-251.
    The bill increases agriculture spending by $73.5 billion over and above baseline spending levels estimated to cost $107 billion.  Regionally-significant components of the bill include a new dairy program, increased nutrition spending, and an expanded conservation title.  The conservation title contains a new $2-billion Conservation Security Program, championed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), along with increased spending for existing conservation programs, including the Farmland Protection Program and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program.  A regional equity provision covering select conservation programs may assist smaller and previously-underserved states in capturing a larger share of conservation dollars.
    The conference report contains Rep. Wayne Gilchrest's (R-MD) Delmarva Conservation Corridor proposal, which will promote regional conservation planning in portions of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.  Also included is authorization for the Great Lakes Basin Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Program, which provides grants, technical assistance, and educational activities in order to limit the input into the Lakes of nutrients and toxic contaminants.
    Contacts:  Allen Hance or Dan Wrinn at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (544-5200).