Booher to serve as Great Lakes Legislative Caucus vice chair again

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, has been elected once again to serve as vice chair of the binational Great Lakes Legislative Caucus in 2017 and 2018.

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 goals are to promote the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes and to strengthen the role of state and provincial legislators in the Great Lakes policymaking process.

The caucus has pushed for federal funding 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.

“Serving as vice chair of the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus has allowed me to work with lawmakers from other states on important Great Lakes issues, such as harbor dredging and maintenance projects,” Booher said. “I look forward to continuing to serve as vice chair of the caucus and working on issues that will help encourage use and preservation of our Great Lakes waters.”

As part of its services for members, the caucus maintains a legislative tracker that monitors bills being considered in state capitals and Washington, D.C., (available at www.greatlakeslegislators.org) and regularly holds Great Lakes policy meetings and training sessions for lawmakers.

Booher and other members of the GLLC Executive Committee will guide caucus efforts in 2017 and 2018. This committee is made up of a chair and vice chair as well as other legislators representing each of the eight states and two Canadian provinces in the Great Lakes basin.

Membership in the nonpartisan caucus is open to all state and provincial legislators in the 10 Great Lakes states and provinces. Officers and the group’s Executive Committee were elected by members who attended this summer’s Great Lakes Legislative Caucus annual meeting in Milwaukee.

Booher has been vice chair of the caucus since 2013; the chair is Wisconsin Rep. Cory Mason.

The Midwestern Office of The Council of State Governments supports and provides staffing services for the caucus, which is funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation. CSG is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving all three branches of state government. For more information about the caucus, please contact Lisa Janairo at ljanairo@csg.org or 920-458-5910 or visit www.greatlakeslegislators.org.

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REMINDER: Kowall and Booher honoring Vietnam era veterans during West Branch event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Darwin Booher on Thursday reminded interested parties of a Vietnam veteran lapel-pinning ceremony being held on Friday, July 22 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The senators are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” to give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans and their families. Both Kowall, R-White Lake, and Booher, R-Evart, will present lapel pins.

The lawmakers encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them to pay tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the lapel-pinning ceremony will be part of Ogemaw Hills Bike Week and is made possible, in part, by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration (VWC). The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 22, in the grandstands of the Ogemaw County Fairgrounds, 2300 Rifle River Trail, in West Branch.

The senators will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to any U.S. veteran who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location. The symbolism attached to the lapel pin is significant, Kowall said.

The Commemoration was authorized by Congress and established under the secretary of defense and launched in 2012. It was designed to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families in hometown America, in light of the 50th anniversary of the war. Recognition is given to these heroes when commemorative partners, such as Kowall, hold events that thank and honor the veterans and their families.

Further information about the event can be found at www.OgemawHillsBikeWeek.com, and information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.VietnamWar50th.com.