Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) is backing a package of resolutions with the lieutenant governors of Indiana and Wisconsin aimed at combating the spread of nuisance species in Midwest waterways and encouraging the completion of college.
The bipartisan resolutions backed by Simon, Sue Ellspermann (R-Ind.) and Rebecca Kleefisch (R-Wis.) was to be taken up at the National Lieutenant Governors Association’s Federal-State Relations Meeting in Washington, D.C.
“We may be lieutenant governors from different states, but education and protecting our waterways are important to us all,” said Simon. “Good things happen when we work together. Through our continued partnerships, I believe we can make significant progress toward improving college completion and fighting the Asian carp problem.”
Working closely with Ellspermann, Simon is encouraging states to implement Guided Pathways to Student Success to increase the number of students completing college degrees and certificates. Their resolution specifically recommends that other lieutenant governors work with their respective higher education boards, colleges and universities to provide simple, easy-to-navigate routes to degree completion.
To address the growing challenge of aquatic nuisance species in the Great Lakes region, Simon partnered with Kleefisch to take on problems that pose a danger to both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin. The Simon and Kleefisch resolution calls for cooperation and support of a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly means to preserve regional waterways while maintaining trade and commerce.
“It’s important that the Great Lakes states work together to protect our waterways and the thousands of family-supporting jobs that rely on them for shipping, commercial and sport fishing, and tourism,” Kleefisch said. “This resolution is one example of the multi-state partnership that’s vital to solving this problem in a smart, cost-effective manner.”
As the state’s point person on education reform. Simon is working to increase the proportion of working-age adults with college degrees or certificates to 60 percent by 2025. Simon is also chairman of three River Coordinating Councils charged with the mission of reviewing state and federal programs that impact the watersheds and working with local communities to raise awareness of and address watershed issues. Copies of both resolutions can be found at http://www.nlga.us/conferences/federal-state-relations-meeting/2014-federal-state-relations-meeting-policy-resolution-information/.
Posted March 26, 2014