The bipartisan Lake Erie Legislative Caucus will meet Tuesday at the Statehouse to discuss “next steps” in the challenge to improve Lake Erie and other Ohio waterways impacted by toxic algae.

The focus of the forum, according to Lake Erie Legislative Caucus co-chair Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green), is to ask lawmakers to consider whether to ask Ohio voters to pass an Ohio Clean Water Bond Issue in 2016.

“Some of us believe Ohio has the capacity to do more, and must take another important step, in the fight for clean water in Ohio,” Senator Gardner said. “A statewide clean water bond issue can be part of that next step. I’m sure Ohioans would embrace the cause.”

The forum will include a presentation from representatives of Healthy Water Ohio, an inclusive organization initiated by the Ohio Farm Bureau that includes a variety of business, environmental agriculture groups seeking to make more progress on cleaning up Lake Erie and other bodies of water in Ohio dependent on clean water. Healthy Water Ohio has released a report supporting a state bond issue and an Ohio Water Trust to provide more funding for clean water projects.

Gardner said the forum will also include a presentation on Senate Joint Resolution 3, a proposed bond issue sponsored by Senator Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman).

“The Lake Erie Caucus is the perfect forum to bring ideas to the table on this important subject and to bring legislators and clean water advocates together,” Gardner said. “That’s the goal. It’s necessary for Ohio’s future.”

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