State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane announced he was recently chosen to serve on a bipartisan committee of regional lawmakers that will lead state legislative efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.
The 12-person Great Lakes Legislative Caucus Executive Committee was elected by fellow caucus members in December. It is made up of the chair and vice chair of the caucus and one additional legislator from each of the eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin.
"I am honored to have been selected to the executive committee for the Great Lakes legislative caucus as the New York representative," Maziarz said. "I look forward to working with my regional colleagues on key policy issues that are priorities of the citizens in my district and for all of New York state."
Through its mix of programming, advocacy and activities, the caucus provides a forum for the regional exchange of ideas and information on key Great Lakes issues. Its goal is to strengthen the role of state and provincial legislators in the Great Lakes policymaking process.
In the past, for example, the caucus has facilitated regional discussions on passage and implementation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. It has pushed for federal passage of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an improved Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and an expedited timeline for a federal study recommending how to keep Asian carp from entering the lakes via the Chicago Area Waterway System.
The caucus also maintains a legislative tracker that monitors bills being considered in state capitols and Washington, D.C.
Maziarz and other members of the recently elected executive committee will guide caucus efforts in 2013-14. Planned activities already include workshops for legislators in Michigan and Minnesota, webinars on Great Lakes policy, and a regional meeting this summer in Duluth, Minn. Membership in the caucus is open to all state and provincial legislators in the 10 Great Lakes states and provinces.
"Committee membership provides a unique networking opportunity for me, to share ideas and insights with my counterparts from throughout the northeast region and bring best practices and resources to my constituents," Maziarz said. "I am honored to join the executive committee in order to bring the issues of New Yorkers to the forefront of national discussions."