Legislative Update: Latta helps pass environmental legislation


By Craig Kelly - ckelly@limanews.com



WASHINGTON — A piece of environmental legislation sponsored by an area congressman was passed this week.

U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green: On Tuesday, the House passed the Ozone Standards Implementation Act to provide flexibility for implementing federal ozone requirements. Latta was an original sponsor of this bill when it was introduced in February.

“We don’t need to punish our energy, manufacturing, and chemical sectors in order to achieve our clean air goals,” Latta said. “Our country has made tremendous progress in reducing ozone levels and improving air quality. A major reason for that is because we’ve set goals that have been realistic and attainable. Providing more time and flexibility to meet the EPA’s most recent standards will help give states the ability to reach these benchmarks without harming job creation and local economies. We all share the goal of clean air and water, and we can do it in a way that makes fiscal and economic sense.”

On Wednesday, Latta introduced legislation to modernize the nation’s electric grid by promoting a public sector and private sector collaboration to increase innovation.

“There are countless reasons why now is the time to upgrade our aging electric grid,” Latta said. “Whether it’s improving resilience and reliability, ensuring better protection from cyberattacks, or increasing efficiency, we need to empower states to make the necessary changes to modernize the grid. Instead of government mandates and taxpayer money to fix the problem, let’s have industry and regulators work together in a collaborative way to find solutions that can be applied across the country. That’s exactly what this bill would do, establish voluntarily model pathways that would provide a blueprint for bringing our aging grid into the 21st century.”

U.S. Senate

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio: On Thursday, Brown introduced legislation to restore G.I. Bill benefits to veterans who attended failed colleges, such as ITT and Corinthian College. The bill also includes a provision to expand eligibility for the Department of Veterans Affairs Yellow Ribbon Program, which helps students avoid tuition and fees for educational programs, to spouses and children of those servicemembers who died in combat.

“G.I. benefits are there to ensure veterans get the education they deserve, not to pad pockets of for-profit colleges. This bill will make sure that veterans who’ve been defrauded by for-profit colleges don’t get cheated out of their G.I. benefits,” Brown said. “I’m proud to sit on the Veterans Committee, which I’ve always said is one of the most bipartisan committees in the Senate. This effort to expand educational opportunities is just one example of the real solutions Republicans and Democrats can come together on to honor our veterans for their service.”

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio: On Thursday, Portman, along with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, introduced the Building U.S. Infrastructure by Leveraging Demands for Skills Act, which aims to help prepare a sufficient workforce to handle any increases for demand of construction, transportation or energy skilled workers created by a major investment in infrastructure.

The bill would promote partnerships between local businesses, industry organizations, labor representatives and educational institutions to help build an infrastructure-centered workforce.

“If we are going to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, we are going to need a skilled workforce,” Portman said. “The BUILDS Act will improve worker training and provide more resources for job training programs targeted toward in-demand infrastructure-related jobs, which will ensure that we can fill jobs quickly and help those on the economic sidelines get the skills they need to succeed.”

By Craig Kelly

ckelly@limanews.com

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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