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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 13 December 2004









Weekly Update 13 December 2004



·        Northeast-Midwest Farmers Benefit from Conservation Bill

·        Ecosystem Restoration

·        Manufacturing Extension Partnership

·        LIHEAP  

·        Appropriations  



Northeast-Midwest Farmers Benefit from Conservation Bill


The House of Representatives last week passed a Senate-approved bill (S. 2856) that will make available $300 million for farm programs designed to assist farmers control runoff, protect farmland, and restore valuable habitat. Those programs are in particularly high demand by farmers in the Northeast-Midwest region.


The 2002 Farm Bill provided historic increases to the conservation title, boosting funding for existing programs and creating important new conservation programs.  However, over the last three years – despite objections from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees – USDA has diverted millions from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Farmland and Ranchland Protection Program (FRPP), Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP), and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) in order to cover the costs of administering two other programs.  The recently-approved legislation reversed the USDA policy and will make more funding available for farm conservation efforts.  Contact:  Dan Wrinn at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/464-4004).

Ecosystem Restoration


Joy Mulinex last week delivered remarks at the First National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration.  Her presentation, entitled “Ecosystem Restoration Initiatives and the Federal Policy Process, can be accessed by clicking here


Manufacturing Extension Partnership


The Senate Manufacturing Task Force last week asked the White House’s Office of Management and Budget to support a funding level of $109 million in the president’s fiscal 2006 budget request for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Program.  Congress provided $109 million for the program in fiscal 2005.  Each year, MEP centers help thousands of small manufacturers solve problems, increase productivity, and create or retain high-skilled American jobs.  Click here for a copy of the letter.  Contact:  Kris Sarri with the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are seeking signatures on a letter asking the president to release $300 million in emergency Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding provided in the fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Act.  Americans are facing record high prices for oil, natural gas and propane this winter.  These increases come on top of soaring energy prices over the past several years.  Rising energy prices disproportionately burden low-income Americans who are also struggling to pay for higher food, housing and health care costs.  The signature deadline is December 20.  Contact is Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606).


Click here for to review charts of fiscal 2005 funding for key regional programs.

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