5 governors, including Pritzker, oppose Trump plan to cut Great Lakes spending


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    LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Governors of five states oppose President Donald Trump's call for a 90 percent spending cut for a Great Lakes cleanup program.

    The president's 2020 budget offers $30 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which gets $300 million most years. It removes toxic pollution, prevents algae blooms and species invasions, and restores wildlife habitat.

    The governors said Wednesday the cut would cost jobs, hurt tourism and jeopardize public health. They urged Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, a former Indiana governor, to fully fund the program.

    Issuing the statement were Democratic Govs. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Tony Evers of Wisconsin, Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, along with Republican Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio.

    The Great Lakes hold 21 percent of the world’s freshwater, and they are among the most vital ecological and economic resources in America. Slashing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by 90 percent would cost our states thousands of good-paying jobs, hurt our tourism and recreation industries, and jeopardize public health. This is a risk we simply can’t afford to take. Cleaning up the Great Lakes shouldn’t be a partisan issue. That’s why as Great Lakes Governors, we are committed to partnering with our congressional delegations and our fellow governors across the region to protect funding for this critical work. We strongly urge President Trump and Vice President Pence, who is a former Great Lakes governor himself, to do what’s best for America by fully restoring funding to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative," stated Pritzker in a statement Wednesday.

    The Trump administration has said state and local governments should fund the program.

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