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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 19 May 2003



H I G H L I G H T S

 

* Report:  Great Lakes Protection and Restoration

* Briefing:  Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

* Letter:  LIHEAP

* Letter:  Urban Parks

* Appropriations Updates

 

 

REPORT:  GREAT LAKES PROTECTION AND RESTORATION

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The Great Lakes Task Forces in 2001 asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to evaluate federal and state restoration programs in the Great Lakes.  The Task Forces this week will release that GAO report, which concludes that there is no overarching plan for coordinating protection and restoration strategies and program activities.  The report also cites lack of funding as the chief barrier to restoration progress.

 

When they release the GAO report this week, the Great Lakes Task Forces will urge the new governors and the region's mayors to agree on broad protection and restoration goals and strategies for achieving those goals, announce the intention to develop legislation that would support a restoration effort in the Great Lakes, and ask the Environmental Protection Agency to establish ecosystem monitoring and indicator systems.

 

Contact:  Joy Mulinex at the Great Lakes Task Forces (202/224-1211).

 

 

BRIEFING:  SECTION 8 HOUSING CHOICE VOUCHERS

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The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition on Monday, May 19, is hosting a briefing on one of the nation's primary sources of housing assistance.  Section 8 vouchers are used to obtain housing in the private market throughout the country.  The session's speakers -- including a voucher program administrator, a homeless service provider, a voucher policy expert, and a landlord who participates in the voucher program -- will explain how Section 8 works, why it is important, and the impact of various reform proposals.

 

The May 19 briefing will begin at 3:00 pm in room 2220 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  Refreshments will be served.

 

Contact:  Michael Beckerman at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).

 

 

LETTER:  LIHEAP

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Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Charles Pickering (R-MS) are casting aside regional and political differences to join forces in the effort to obtain full funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  The signature deadline for the letter to appropriators is Friday, May 23.

 

Contacts:  Jeff Duncan with Rep. Markey (202/225-2836) or Cade King with Rep. Pickering (202/225-5031).

 

 

LETTER:  URBAN PARKS

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Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) are seeking signatures on a letter that requests $25 million in appropriations for the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program.  UPARR provides funds to rehabilitate parks and recreational facilities in distressed communities.  The signature deadline is Monday, May 19.

Contact:  Dan Persky with Senator Levin (202/224-2683).

 

 

APPROPRIATIONS UPDATES

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The Northeast-Midwest web site contains appropriation updates on key programs important to the region.  Those tables -- as well as links to more detailed charts on funding for Great Lakes, invasive species, and Chesapeake Bay/Mid-Atlantic rivers -- are available at http://www.nemw.org/approps2004.htm.