Friday, May 16, 2008

Wisconsin Approves Compact; Michigan Moves Closer

May 15: Governor Jim Doyle issued the following statement on the Wisconsin State Senate (32-1) and the Wisconsin State Assembly (96-1) passing the Great Lakes Compact. Governor Doyle said, "Wisconsin has been blessed with one of the world’s most incredible natural resources. One of our greatest responsibilities is to preserve and protect the Great Lakes so that our children and grandchildren have the same opportunities to enjoy the Lakes that we have today. The Great Lakes waters are also one of our greatest competitive advantages in a 21st Century global economy. In a world where water is becoming more precious, the Great Lakes help Wisconsin businesses grow and attract new businesses to our state. Thank you to the Legislature for bringing us a step closer towards enacting this compact that will help ensure a strong Wisconsin future." The bill now awaits the Governor's signature.

The Alliance for the Great Lakes issued a statement saying, "The Alliance applauds Wisconsin's endorsement of the compact before ending the session. We're over the halfway mark on the number of states that need to pass the compact before the U.S. Congress has an opportunity to ratify."

Already endorsed by Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and New York, the compact must pass each of the Great Lakes states before being ratified by Congress. Michigan lawmakers are working toward adoption of an implementing package tied to the compact, and both the House and Senate have voted unanimously in support of the compact itself. However, there remain significant differences between Republicans and Democrats on the implementing package.

Access a release from the Alliance and links to related information (
click here). Access a release from Governor Doyle (click here). Access a release from WI Representative Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) (click here). Access releases from other WI politicians and organizations (click here, scroll down or search "compact"). Access the Council of Great Lakes Governors Compact status website (click here).