June 2023

The Caucus


GLLC Member News

Register Today for the GLLC Annual Meeting in Québec City

Registration is now open for the GLLC 2023 Annual Meeting! The GLLC membership will gather in Québec City to consider resolutions, renew the strategic plan, and dive into the policy agenda. The event is open to GLLC members and all legislators from Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin, as well as government, nonprofit, academic, and private sector partners.

A limited number of travel scholarships are available to GLLC members, with priority for those engaged in GLLC committees and task forces. Register early to request to be considered for a scholarship while one is still available.

For more information and an overview of the agenda, visit the GLLC website or click the button below. To become a GLLC member or check membership status, click here.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Director Jess Lienhardt

Register Here

Great Lakes Legislators Study Climate Resiliency at April Meeting in Detroit

In April, the binational, bipartisan 2023 Birkholz Fellows met in Detroit to set the GLLC policy priorities for Climate Resiliency in Great Lakes Communities. Over the two-day workshop, the Fellows learned about Great Lakes shorelines and nature-based restoration, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure, flooding impacts, and climate resiliency and adaptation policies, including the Tribal Climate Adaptation Menu. The Fellows also participated in exercises and discussion sessions to begin to form the GLLC objectives for climate resiliency.

At the end of the workshop, the Birkholz Fellows became the Task Force on Climate Resiliency, which will continue to meet, study, and recommend priorities for the duration of the biennium. Illinois Senator Laura Ellman was elected chair of the Task Force, and Ontario MPP Jennifer French was elected as the vice chair. The first priority of the Task Force on Climate Resiliency will be to finalize policy recommendations to be presented to the GLLC membership at the GLLC Annual Meeting on September 8-9 in Québec City. 

If you would like to join the Task Force on Climate Resiliency and help shape regional priorities, contact Director Jess Lienhardt.

Executive Committee Welcomes New Representation from Minnesota, Ohio, Québec, and Wisconsin

Earlier this year, the GLLC welcomed four new Executive Committee members: Senator Mary Kunesh from Minnesota, Senator Theresa Gavarone from Ohio, MNA Joëlle Boutin from Québec, and Representative Lisa Subeck from Wisconsin. Senator Kunesh serves on the Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee and is a founding member of the Native American and People of Color & Indigenous (POCI) caucuses in the Minnesota Senate. Senator Gavarone was a 2019 Birkholz Fellow and also represents Ohio on the Great Lakes Commission. MNA Boutin previously held a partial term on the GLLC Executive Committee and is the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Economy, Innovation, and Energy. Representative Subeck was a 2019 Birkholz Fellow and is the Ranking Member on the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Energy and Utilities.

The four new members join representatives from the other six states and provinces, the GLLC officers, and ex officio members on the Executive Committee. In addition, the Executive Committee also includes Olmsted County Commissioner David Senjem from Minnesota and Senator Laura Ellman from Illinois, both of whom are chairs of GLLC committees and task forces.

Senator Mary Kunesh

Executive Committee Member - Minnesota

Senator Theresa Gavarone

Executive Committee Member - Ohio

MNA Joëlle Boutin

Executive Committee Member - Québec

Representative Lisa Subeck

Executive Committee Member - Wisconsin

Great Lakes State and Provincial Legislative Tracker

State and Provincial Legislative Tracker

ICYMI: Climate Impacts in the Great Lakes Region

On March 31, the GLLC hosted climatologist Omar Gates from Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments (GLISA) for a presentation on the impacts of climate change on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region.

Gates explained that GLISA uses a predictive model for climate impact based on an advanced simulation of natural processes and available data. The model is then continuously tested and evaluated for accuracy.

Based on that model, GLISA expects that the Great Lakes will experience higher temperatures, more precipitation, and more extreme weather events in the coming years. Those impacts are expected to lead to the hazards outlined in the image above, as well as stormwater damage, ecosystem stress, lower agricultural yields, and fluctuating lake levels.

The GLLC Task Force on Climate Resiliency is examining adaptation and resilience polices to guide the region through these changes and challenges.

The recording of the presentation can be found here.

GLLC Upcoming Events

Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting

July 9-12, 2023

Detroit, MI

GLLC Annual Meeting

September 8-9, 2023

Québec City, QC

About the GLLC

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus (GLLC) is a binational, nonpartisan organization that exists solely for the purpose of engaging state and provincial legislators in the policymaking process related to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. Secretariat services are provided by The Council of State Governments' Midwestern Office. Financial support is provided in part by The Joyce Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation provides support for the GLLC's work on nutrient pollution.

For more information about the caucus, visit the GLLC website or email gllc@csg.org.