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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 18 September 2006

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Weekly Update 18 September 2006



  • Sheboygan River Cleanup -- Public Forum
  • Income and Poverty Data
  • LIHEAP Data
  • Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
  • House Coalition Legislative Director
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- Letters 

Sheboygan River Cleanup – Public Forum


The Northeast-Midwest Institute on Thursday, September 20, will host a public forum on the economic advantages of improving environmental quality in the Sheboygan area. The forum will be held at the Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center (725 Blue Harbor Drive, Sheboygan, WI) from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm and will feature a presentation by Dr. John Braden, from the University of Illinois, concerning the results of a two-year study on the economic value of cleaning up the Sheboygan River Area of Concern (AOC). Specifically, Professor Braden will detail how many homeowners may realize gains in house prices as a result of cleanup activities in the river. Other speakers include Sheboygan Mayor Juan Perez, Wisconsin State Senator Joe Leibham, Marc Tuchman with EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office, James McNelly with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Jon Gumtow with the Sheboygan River Basin Partnership. David Ullrich, director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, will moderate the event.  Contact:  Nicole Mays at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/584-3378).  


Income and Poverty Data

The Northeast-Midwest Institute’s web site now includes updated state-level data through 2005 for poverty rates (
http://www.nemw.org/poverty.htm) and median household income (http://www.nemw.org/income.htm).  The tables show data for three-year averages, which are the best numbers for comparing state levels and for assessing state changes over time.   The Institute does not rank states according to their levels for poverty and median household income because the standard error ranges for these data make rankings difficult.  For more information about statistically significant comparisons among states, see the notes at the bottom of the tables.




The Northeast-Midwest Institute has posted updated information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in anticipation of appropriations action by Congress this fall.  One chart (http://www.nemw.org/LIHEAPchart_PurchasePowerCurrent82.pdf) shows how energy inflation has eroded the purchasing power of LIHEAP appropriations.  A second chart (http://www.nemw.org/LIHEAPchart_AppropsCurrent82.pdf) shows that a fiscal 2006 appropriation of $3.25 billion would have been needed in order to account for inflation in the energy sector and keep LIHEAP even with its 1982 amount for regular LIHEAP formula funds.  A data table (http://www.nemw.org/liheap_history.htm) lists authorization levels, funding requests from the White House, and appropriations for the regular and emergency LIHEAP grants for fiscal 1982 through 2006.  Click here (http://www.nemw.org/energy_coalition.htm#LIHEAP) for links to all three new web postings.  


As of July, the House Appropriations Committee had approved fiscal 2007 spending of $1.93 billion in regular LIHEAP formula funds, and the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved $1.98 billion.  Both the House and the Senate committees also approved $181.17 million in LIHEAP contingency/emergency funds.  Last year, Congress initially appropriated $1.98 billion in regular LIHEAP formula funds and $181.17 million in LIHEAP contingency/emergency funds for fiscal 2006, but it then added $500 million to both the regular formula funds (for a total of $2.48 billion) and the contingency/emergency funds (for a total of $681.17 million). 


Responding to requests from the Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions, the Department of Health and Human Services last week released $79.9 million of LIHEAP fiscal-2006 contingency funds.  LIHEAP, which provides federal funds to help pay for household heating and cooling costs, is an important program for northeastern and midwestern states.


Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative


The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, founded by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and now chaired by Toronto Mayor David Miller, has become an independent organization.  Launched several years ago by the Northeast-Midwest Institute, the Cities Initiative helps mayors and other local officials develop and advocate programs to improve the resource.  Information on the group can be found at www.glslcities.org.



House Coalition Legislative Director

Katie Waszkiewicz is the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition’s new legislative director.  Katie previously served as legislative assistant to Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), where she focused on agriculture, education, veterans affairs, budget, and financial services.  She is a graduate of Colgate University.  She can be reach at 202/226-5181 or Katie.waszkiewicz@mail.house.gov



Manufacturing Extension Partnership – Letters


House members are circulating two letters supporting the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program within the Department of Commerce that assists small and medium-sized firms.  One letter requests support from the Office of Management and Budget regarding the president's fiscal 2008 budget proposal.  The other encourages congressional conferees to support the Senate’s $106 million appropriation for fiscal 2007.  Contact:  Katie Waszkiewicz with the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition and Manufacturing Task Force (202/226-5181. 





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