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GLIN==> Northeast-Midwest Weekly Update -- 21 March 2005






Weekly Update 21 March 2005



·         Coalition Legislative Director

·         Manufacturing

·         Trade Adjustment Assistance

·         Ballast Discharge and Invasive Species

·         Senate Budget Resolution


Coalition Legislative Director

The Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition has hired Lisa Mark to be its new legislative director.  She previously served as senior legislative assistant to Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) and staff assistant to Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA). A graduate of Colby College, she also was an intern with Chicago Social Magazine, Oglivy & Mather Advertising Agency, Offshore Magazine, and NBC News.  Lisa will work out of Rep. Steven LaTourette’s office (2453 Rayburn).  Her phone number is 202/225-5731.  Her email is elizabeth.mark@mail.house.gov.



The Senate Task Force on Manufacturing – led by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – are seeking signatures on a letter asking appropriators to provide $112 million to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) in fiscal 2006.  The MEP increases the productivity and competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, resulting in expanded economic activity and an enhance tax base.


The Northeast-Midwest Institute regularly updates a Manufacturing Fact Sheet that includes the latest data on manufacturing productivity, employment, wages, capacity, and new orders.  The information can be found at http://www.nemw.org/mfgfact.htm


Trade Adjustment Assistance


Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI), co-chairs of the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition, are requesting signatures on a letter to the CJS appropriations subcommittee supporting $16 million for the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program.  The program assists hundreds of mostly small and medium-sized manufacturing and agricultural companies that experience loss of jobs and sales because of foreign imports.  Qualifying companies receive technical assistance in areas such as marketing, financing, production, product development, distribution, management information systems, and exporting. The signature deadline is Wednesday, April 6.  Contact:  Kris Sarri at the Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition (202/224-0606). 


Ballast Discharge and Invasive Species


The Northeast-Midwest Institute has released its report on the International Ballast Discharge Monitoring Device Workshop.  The workshop’s goal was to assess existing and emerging analytical tools (technologies and techniques) for their potential to support regulatory evaluations of ballast discharge associated with the range of standards.  This information should help policymakers and regulators understand the extent to which analytical tools may support the various types of standards and regulatory activities relevant to ballast water discharge regulation.  The report, titled “Summary and Findings of the Ballast Discharge Monitoring Device Workshop, can be found on the Institute’s website at:  http://www.nemw.org/MarrowstoneReport.pdf.  Contact:  Nicole Mays at the Northeast-Midwest Institute (202/544-5200).


Senate Budget Resolution


The Senate agreed to a Sense of the Senate amendment offered by Senators Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) to fund the Clean Water program at $1.35 billion.  The amendment noted the need to help states and local communities meet water quality standards and restore the health and safety of our nation’s waters.  Cosponsoring the amendment were Senators George Voinovich (R-OH), James Inhofe (R-OK), James Jeffords (I-VT), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Mike DeWine (R-OH), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Susan Collins (R-ME).


The Senate also endorsed an amendment supporting the restoration of $2 billion to Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).  Northeast-Midwest Senate Coalition members – including Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), Mike DeWine (R-OH), and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) – had led a letter asking the Budget Committee to provide such funds. CDBG supports housing rehabilitation, public facilities, public services, and economic development. 


Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) also advanced a Sense of the Senate amendment that urges appropriators to fund the Advanced Technology Program.  ATP supports industry-led research and development of cutting-edge technologies with broad commercial potential and societal benefits. 


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