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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 6 October 2003



H I G H L I G H T S

 

* Electricity Transmission Coordination

* Manufacturing Extension Partnership

* Homeland Security Funding

* Community Forestry

* Childhood Lead Poisoning

* Advanced Technology Program Grants

* Flow of Federal Funds

 

 

ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION COORDINATION

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Leaders of the Northeast-Midwest Coalitions have asked energy conferees to complete the transition to competitive markets by allowing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Wholesale Power Market Platform (WMP) to move forward.  "The timely implementation of WMP is critical in achieving the efficient, seamless, and non-discriminatory wholesale power markets that will optimize our nation's energy resources," states the Senate letter.  "Delay will only serve to further injure much needed investment in generation, transmission, and demand response facilities that are the foundations of our nation's economic well-being."  Click here to go to copies of the letters.

 

Contacts:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606) and Michael Beckerman with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496).

 

 

MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP

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The House Manufacturing Task Force, co-chaired by Reps.  Jack Quinn (R-NY) and Marty Meehan (D-MA), is circulating a letter to yet-to-be-named conferees seeking restored funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).  The House Commerce-Justice-State appropriation bill slashed the MEP budget by more than 60 percent, from $106.6 million in fiscal 2003.  The Senate panel provided level funding.  As a public-private partnership, MEP's 60 centers provide valuable technical assistance and business support services to small manufacturers.

 

House offices should contact Michael Beckerman at the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (202/226-9496) to sign copies of the letter.

 

 

HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING

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The Great Lakes Task Forces are circulating a letter among House and Senate members to the Secretaries of Transportation and Homeland Security about their concern that the Great Lakes region has received only about 1 percent of the total grant funding for maritime security in the last two rounds of awards.  Great Lakes states, according to the letter, must abide by the same security requirements as other regions and are disadvantaged by the past trend in granting awards.  The letter's signature deadline is Wednesday, October 8.

 

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

 

 

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 for the Suburban and Community Forestry and Open Space Act (S. 1208).  The legislation provides federal support for locally-driven efforts to protect forest lands threatened by urban and suburban growth.  Program funds would support projects that purchase land or conservation easements in order to preserve working forest lands.  The bill also amends the Forest Legacy Program to provide states with the option to permit qualified non-profit organizations, such as land trusts, to hold easements that are purchased in part or in whole with Forest Legacy Funds.  Currently, land trusts may only hold easements through Forest Legacy if such easements are donated.

 

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

 

 

CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING

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Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Christopher Bond (R-MO) are seeking cosponsors on a resolution to designate the last week of October 2003 and 2004 as National Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.  Northeastern and midwestern states suffer some of the highest levels of childhood lead poisoning due to the older age of the region's housing stock.  Children with lead poisoning are six times more likely to have reading disabilities and seven times more likely to drop out of high school.  On average, it costs our education system $10,000 more per child to educate a student with lead poisoning than one without.  Education is one of the best tools for combating childhood lead poisoning since it leads to early testing and detection, prevention of poisoning in the first place, and making homes lead-safe.

 

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

 

 

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM GRANTS

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The Advanced Technology Program within the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently announced a series of 44 awards to develop novel technologies.  Companies in the Northeast-Midwest region received roughly 61.5 percent of the awards.  Click here for a summary of the awards.

 

 

FLOW OF FEDERAL FUNDS

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The Northeast-Midwest Institute has updated its tables for the flow of federal funds to the states in fiscal 2002.  Click here to go to the tables on the Northeast-Midwest Institute's "Federal Spending" web page.  More than half the northeastern and midwestern states contribute more in taxes to the federal government than they receive back in federal spending.  In the Northeast as a whole, higher-than-average per-capita federal taxation yields a low return on tax dollar even for some states that enjoy above-average levels of federal spending.  In the Midwest, the low return on federal tax dollar stems primarily from relatively low levels of federal spending.  The factors that influence federal spending include demographics, economic well-being, industry mix, and the location of federal facilities and workers.

 

Contact:  Matt Kane of the Northeast-Midwest Institute at (651/297-2406).