Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wisconsin Governor Signs Compact Legislation

May 27: Following the May 15, passage by the Wisconsin State Senate (32-1) and the Wisconsin State Assembly (96-1) [See WIMS 5/16/08]; Governor Jim Doyle who also serves as Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG) Chair, officially signed Wisconsin’s legislation ratifying an interstate compact for the Great Lakes--St. Lawrence River Basin. According to a release from CGLG the signing "illustrates the regional and bi-partisan consensus that is growing in support of the compact."

CGLG reports that five of the eight Great Lakes States have now completed enactment of the compact’s protections -- Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, New York and Wisconsin. Both legislative chambers in Michigan have passed the compact although final approval is pending further action on related State implementing legislation. One legislative chamber in Ohio and Pennsylvania has passed the compact, and further action is anticipated in coming days and weeks in both States. To become law, the compact must be approved by each of the State legislatures and Congress must give its consent.

Governor Doyle said, "This is an outstanding day for all of Wisconsin. From Lake Superior to the St. Lawrence River, our region is uniting to protect our waters, and I am pleased to lead our state in signing this compact into law. Our Great Lakes waters in many ways define who we are. And now the Great Lakes Compact will ensure that we protect this tremendous resource while responsibly using the water we need to prosper and grow." According to CGLG the five Great Lakes comprise the world’s largest surface freshwater system. The Great Lakes generate $55 billion in tourism for the region and create nearly $377 million in personal income from wages and salaries.

Access a release from CGLG (click here). Access the CGLG status of compact approval and links to the compact and related documents (click here).