U.S. Senator Gary Peters is trying to increase the funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. He is filing an amendment to a government funding bill to increase the amount from the current proposed $301 million to $320 million. The U.S. House has already passed a similar measure.
In a statement, Peters says he’s “seen firsthand just how crucial the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is in communities across Michigan.” The state’s junior senator adds “The Great Lakes are more than an ecological treasure or economic engine: they are simply part of who we are as Michiganders. We need to do everything we can to protect the Great Lakes for future generations, and this amendment reflects the importance of that mission.”
Earlier this year, Peters helped introduce bipartisan legislation that would reauthorize the GLRI, which is set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2021, for another five years and increase the current authorization level to $375 million in Fiscal Year 2022. It would increase funding by $25 million per year until it reaches $475 million in Fiscal Year 2026. Since its inception in 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $762 million for 880 projects across Michigan.
President Trump’s proposed budget each year has either drastically cut or zeroed out the funding for the GLRI. Michigan lawmakers from both parties convinced him to change direction for the Fiscal Year 2020 earlier this year.