U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

President Trump’s Budget Eliminates Investments in Great Lakes, Tells Governor Walker to Provide Funding

Senator Baldwin to Governor Walker: “What is your plan to provide the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that President Trump’s budget would eliminate?”

By - Mar 16th, 2017 01:31 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today wrote to Governor Scott Walker about President Trump’s proposed budget and plan to eliminate federal investments for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and instead rely the State of Wisconsin and local governments to provide this critical funding.

“Last year, you wrote to President Trump expressing your view that the role of the federal government should be reduced and states should have more power and control over programs and policies. President Trump’s budget request would do just that with the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, transferring the responsibility to fund this vital investment to you and local governments. Wisconsin has received millions in federal investments from this federal program and local governments simply do not have the resources to replace this funding. I am writing to ask: What is your plan to provide the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative that President Trump’s budget would eliminate?”

Senator Baldwin continued, “Given that President Trump’s budget would transfer the responsibility to invest in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to you, the people of Wisconsin deserve to know if you accept this responsibility. It’s also important that the people we work for know how you plan to meet this new challenge of funding a critical program for our region, the health of our communities, and the protection of our clean water resources.”

The GLRI is a critical program for the Great Lakes region, the health of our communities and the protection of our clean water resources. It has invested $331 million for 416 projects in Wisconsin. It has helped the state combat the growth of invasive species like Asian carp and zebra mussels, which pose a major threat to the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes by devastating the food chain and causing major damage to our ports, pipes and water infrastructure. It has also helped our state clean up polluted sites and restore water quality in Wisconsin.

The GLRI investment is expected to produce nearly $12 billion in benefits from tourism fishing, and recreation basin-wide.

Last week, as a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Senator Baldwin sent a bipartisan letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt expressing concern about reports that the Trump Administration’s budget request would include drastic cuts to Great Lakes funding.

Senator Baldwin has championed the GLRI and protecting our Great Lakes throughout her time in the Senate. Last year, Senator Baldwin successfully fought to reauthorize the GLRI for five more years in bipartisan legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama.

An online version of the letter to Governor Walker is available here.

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