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Great Lakes Article:

Dems after Lakes action
By Marjory Raymer
The Flint Journal First Edition
Published July 12, 2004


Local Democrats today plan to call for protection of the Great Lakes and guard against draining their waters.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm earlier urged lawmakers to take action on two bills called the "Water Legacy Act." The legislation would govern water use and Michigan the legal framework to oppose water diversion to other states, House Democrats said.

Democratic lawmakers including Reps. Brenda Clack of Flint, John J. Gleason of Flushing and Jack D. Minore of Flint were among those expected to present the governor with pledges from the Michigan League of Conservation Voters stating their support for the proposed Water Legacy Act.

The bills in the House and Senate were introduced in March. Democrats complained the proposals have not yet had a hearing before the Republican-controlled Legislature.

"It's time for action," Minore said in a prepared statement. "If (the) Republican majority continues to block our efforts, then we'll go straight to the people of Michigan. We won't let partisan politics stop us from protecting Michigan's water."

After presenting pledges to the governor, Democratic lawmakers from across the state were expected to promote the legislation at press conferences in their local communities.

Local lawmakers were to discuss the issue at a press conference at 1 p.m. today at the Flint Water Treatment Plant.

"The risk to Michigan's fresh water supply is greater today than ever before," Gleason said. "It is crucial that we implement a strategy to manage our precious water resources."

Diversion of Great Lakes water has long been a hot button political issue, with lawmakers debating whether the issue is best handled at the state or federal level.

Granholm also made protection of the Great Lakes a prominent part of her campaign for governor in 2002.

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