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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 30 June 2003



H I G H L I G H T S

 

* Letter:  Costs of Highway Snow Removal

* Legislation:  Farm-to-Cafeteria Program

* Legislation:  Suburban and Community Forestry

 

 

LETTER:  COSTS OF HIGHWAY SNOW REMOVAL

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The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition is circulating a letter asking for a comprehensive Department of Transportation study of the physical and financial impacts on roadways of cold weather conditions, such as freezing and thawing, and snow and ice removal.

 

Northeastern and midwestern states spend tens of millions of dollars to keep roadways operational by removing ice and snow, yet the very act of removing snow and ice shortens a roadway's life span and increases the need for maintenance. A thorough study into the costs and effects cold weather conditions have on roadways is important to the Northeast-Midwest region.

 

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

 

 

LEGISLATION:  FARM-TO-CAFETERIA PROGRAM

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Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Fred Upton (R-MI) are seeking cosponsors for legislation that links nutrition and agriculture policy, improves children's health, and benefits family farmers.  The Farm-to-Cafeteria bill would help farmers sell nutritious foods directly to local schools.  It would provide $10 million annually for allocations of up to $100,000 to assist school districts or nonprofit organizations create farm-to-school projects.  The grants could be used to purchase adequate equipment for storing and preparing fresh foods, develop food procurement relationships with nearby farmers, and plan seasonal menus and promotional materials.

 

With a supply of healthy foods, children would have a better chance of avoiding serious illness, such as heart disease and diabetes.  The farm-to-cafeteria program also would assist America's independent farming sector.

 

Contact:  Sherry Harper with Rep. Kind (202/225-5506) or Charles Yessaian with Rep. Upton (202/225-3761).

 

 

LEGISLATION:  SUBURBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY

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Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are seeking cosponsors of the Suburban and Community Forestry and Open Space Act.  The legislation establishes a $50-million grant program within the U.S. Forest Service in order to support locally-driven projects that preserve working forests.  State and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations, could compete for funds to purchase land or conservation easements to keep forest lands, threatened by development, in their traditional use. The legislation requires that federal grant funds be matched dollar-for-dollar by state, local, or private resources.  It also allows non-profits and municipalities to hold title to land or easements purchased under the program.

 

Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).