Bill aims to create Great Lakes Authority, a federal entity for states in Great Lakes region

Coast Guard issues gale watch for Lake Michigan
Posted at 8:10 AM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 08:10:07-04

(WXYZ) — An Ohio congresswoman has introduced a bill that would create and fund the Great Lakes Authority.

The Great Lakes Authority Act was introduced on March 17 by Rep. Marcy Kaptur, a Democrat who represents Ohio's 9th Congressional District which spans along the Lake Erie coast from Toledo to Cleveland.

The act was also sponsored by several legislatures from states surrounding the Great Lakes, including Democratic Reps. Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee and Haley Stevens – all from Michigan.

According to Kaptur's office, the authority would serve as a federal entity dedicated to advancing solutions to challenges faced by the eight states of the Great Lakes region – Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.

Kaptur's office said the Great Lakes region lacks support from the federal government. Under the act, the Great Lakes Authority would receive $30 million beginning in fiscal year 2023 followed by $50 million in each fiscal year after.

According to Kapture, the authority would be empowered to promote economic development and job creation, create training and workforce education and adjustment institutions to spur economic growth in communities impacted by the outsourcing of jobs, restore and protect the Great Lakes, promote cleaner power production, and help finance clean energy, green infrastructure, water infrastructure and broadband infrastructure projects.

“The Great Lakes region is not only a treasured environmental watershed but is uniquely positioned, with the right investments, to be an economic powerhouse to drive innovation and economic development for the 21st century,” Dingell said in a statement. “As a co-chair of the bipartisan Great Lakes Task Force, I am proud to join my colleagues in introducing the Great Lakes Authority Act, which will help strengthen the Great Lakes regional economy, as well as the nation, by boosting investments in long-term economic development projects across the manufacturing, defense, infrastructure, and clean energy sectors.”

"The Great Lakes are central to our way of life,” Kildee added. “They foster billions of dollars in economic activity in our local economies and support millions of jobs in the fishing, boating and tourism industries. I am proud to support this legislation to help protect our Great Lakes, promote our economic development, invest in workforce training and help create more good-paying jobs here in Michigan.”

You can read the full text of the act below.

Great Lakes Authority Act of 2022 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd