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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update



Posted on behalf of Dick Munson <dickmunson@nemw.org>

---
* Job Opening

* Letters:  Manufacturing, Manufacturing Extension Partnership,
Northeast Heating Oil Reserve, Great Lakes Legacy Program, LIHEAP, Clean
Water, and Transit

* Legislation:  Organic Foods Standard

* Briefings:  Mercury Contamination, Transportation, and Agriculture
Conservation


JOB OPENING
-----------
The bipartisan Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition is looking for
a legislative director.  That staffer, working out of the office of Rep.
Jack Quinn (R-NY), will network with numerous lawmakers from the
Northeast and Midwest and try to advance a series of economic and
environmental issues important to the region. 

Interested candidates are encouraged to send resumes to Dick Munson
<mailto:dickmunson@nemw.org> 


LETTER:  MANUFACTURING
----------------------
Members of the Northeast-Midwest Coalitions and Senate Manufacturing
Task Force are asking President Bush to work with them to develop a
national policy that strengthens and builds the manufacturing base in
the United States.  The letter -- originated by Senators Susan Collins
(R-ME), Jack Reed (D-RI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Joseph Lieberman
(D-CT) and Rep. Jack Quinn (R-NY) -- seeks a bipartisan agenda that will
focus on four issues:  workforce development, research and development,
small and medium-sized manufacturers, and health care.  Deadline for
signature is Monday morning, March 3.

Contact:  Kris Sarri <mailto:kristen_sarri@reed.senate.gov>  at the
Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606) and Olwen Huxley
<mailto:olwen.huxley@mail.house.gov>  at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (202/224-9496).


LETTER:  MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP
---------------------------------------------
Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), co-chairs of
the Manufacturing Task Force, and Reps. Marty Meehan (D-MA) and Jack
Quinn (R-NY), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Congressional
Coalition, are seeking signatures on a letter asking appropriators to
provide $110 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program
in fiscal 2004.  Signature deadlines are March 21.

Contact:  Kris Sarri <mailto:kristen_sarri@reed.senate.gov>  with the
Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606) and Olwen Huxley
<mailto:olwen.huxley@mail.house.gov>  at the Northeast-Midwest
Congressional Coalition (202/226-9497).


LETTER:  NORTHEAST HEATING OIL RESERVE
-------------------------------------
Northeast senators and representatives are calling on the president and
Department of Energy secretary to order the release of 2 million barrels
from the Northeast Heating Oil Reserve in order to mitigate the tight
supply and high cost of heating oil in the region. 

Contact:  Kris Sarri <mailto:kristen_sarri@reed.senate.gov>  with the
Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


LETTER:  GREAT LAKES LEGACY PROGRAM
------------------------------------
The House and Senate Great Lakes Task Forces are circulating a letter
asking appropriators for full funding for the Great Lakes Legacy
program.  The legislation authorizing the program -- sponsored last year
by Rep. Vernon Ehlers (R-MI)and Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Mike
DeWine (R-OH) -- provides up to $50 million for contaminated sediment
cleanup at Areas of Concern, as well as $3 million for technology
development and $1 million for public outreach grants.

Contact: Joy Mulinex <mailto:joy_mulinex@levin.senate.gov>  with the
Great Lakes Task Forces (202/224-1211).


LETTER:  LIHEAP
---------------
The Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions are
circulating letters that ask the Budget and Appropriations Committees to
provide adequate funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Program (LIHEAP).  The letters request $3 billion for fiscal 2004 and
advance appropriations for fiscal 2005.  Signature deadline is March 5.

Contact:  Olwen Huxley <mailto:olwen.huxley@mail.house.gov>  at the
Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9497) and Kris Sarri
<mailto:kristen_sarri@reed.senate.gov>  at the Northeast-Midwest Senate
Coalition (202/224-0606).


LETTER:  CLEAN WATER
--------------------
Senators Jim Jeffords (I-VT) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) are seeking
signatures on a letter to the Budget Committee requesting $5.2 billion
in fiscal 2004 for the Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving
funds. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) will be signing the letter.

Contact:  Catherine Ransom <mailto:catherine_ransom@jeffords.senate.gov>
with Senator Jeffords at (202/224-8552) or Kris Sarri
<mailto:kristen_sarri@reed.senate.gov>  with the Northeast-Midwest
Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


LETTER:  TRANSIT
----------------
Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Ranking Member Paul
Sarbanes (D-MD) are sending a letter to the  Budget Committee requesting
that they grow federal transit funding in the fiscal 2004 Budget
Resolution.  The Budget Resolution number will be very important in
setting the framework for reauthorization. 


LEGISLATION:  ORGANIC FOODS STANDARD
------------------------------------
Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Reps. Ron
Kind (D-WI) and Sam Farr (D-CA) this week will introduce the Organic
Restoration Act. The bipartisan legislation would restore the recently
adopted national standards for organic foods by repealing a last-minute
rider included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act. The rider, which
allows select animal products to carry the organic label even if they
have been fed non-organic feed, would threaten consumer and producer
confidence in the fastest growing sector in U.S. agriculture, which had
sales in excess of $11 billion in 2002.

Contacts:  Ben Huebner <mailto:ben_huebner@leahy.senate.gov>  with
Senator Leahy (202/224-5239) and Matt Trebon
<mailto:matt.trebon@mail.house.gov>  with Rep. Kind (202/225-5506).


BRIEFING:  MERCURY CONTAMINATION
---------------------------------
The Northeast-Midwest Coalition, in cooperation with the Water Resources
Federation, on Friday, March 7, will host a briefing on mercury sources,
deposition, methylation, and health effects.  This second briefing on
mercury will focus on regulatory and legislative policy options.
Speaking about legislative proposals, including the Bush
Administration's Clear Skies Initiative and Senator Jeffords' S366
proposal, will be representatives of the Environmental Protection
Administration and the Congressional Research Service.  The March 7
briefing will run from 1:00 pm until 2:30 pm in 2318 Rayburn House
Office Building.

Contact:  Olwen Huxley <mailto:olwen.huxley@mail.house.gov>  at the
Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9497).


BRIEFING:  TRANSPORTATION
-------------------------
The Northeast-Midwest House and Senate Coalitions, in association with
the Population Resource Center, are sponsoring a briefing entitled "On
the Road:  Will TEA-21 Keep America Moving?"  The briefing will take
place on Friday, March 7, from 10:00 am until 11:30 am in 2253 Rayburn
House Office Building.

Contact:  Olwen Huxley <mailto:olwen.huxley@mail.house.gov>  at the
Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9497).


BRIEFING:  AGRICULTURE CONSERVATION
-----------------------------------
Several of the most popular conservation programs in the recently-passed
Farm Bill were cut in the Omnibus fiscal 2003 appropriations bill. A
brief review will be given about the potential impacts of these cuts to
our states/region, members of members of the environmental and
conservation communities will discuss strategies to fix this problem.
The briefing is scheduled for Friday, March 7, from 10:00 am until 11:00
am in 2456 Rayburn House Office Building.

Contact:  Dan Wrinn <mailto:dwrinn@nemw.org>  and Allen Hance
<mailto:ahance@nemw.org>  at the Northeast-Midwest Institute
(202/544-5200).



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