Stabenow pitches expanding Great Lakes protection program

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow and a bipartisan group of her colleagues are trying to get more money to clean up and protect the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is currently funded at $300 million a year.

Stabenow and other House and Senate members from Great Lakes states have persevered in keeping the money in the budget despite repeated threats by the Trump administration to cut funding.

Now they are proposing extending the program for five years, during which they would raise program spending to $475 million.

“We’ve not only seen some very positive results, but we have a long list of things we’ve not been able to accomplish just because of the resources, not having the resources. And so I really felt we’re now at a point that we need to take the next step,” Stabenow said while announcing the legislation in Grand Rapids Friday.

The senator says with bipartisan support, she is hopeful the measure will gain traction in both the House and Senate. However, the upcoming election may make moving any meaningful legislation more challenging.

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