Ohio Gov. John Kasich has penned a new Great Lakes bill to replace the Republican-backed legislation he vetoed this summer, circulating a new proposal that he says better protects Lake Erie. Kasich’s proposal cuts the 5 million gallons of water that can be taken by the lake daily by half, the Columbus Dispatch
The original bill drew Kasich’s only veto so far in office, but the Republican governor said at a public appearance Thursday he is confident the new bill will “protect the lake, and at the same time make sure that we have good economic development.”
“To me, it’s not a choice between good environment and economic development,” Kasich said. “I think they’re consistent. Protecting that lake is important, and I’m going to do it. At the end of the day I want the lake to be strong and I want you to be strong.”
State Rep. Lynn Wachtmann who drafted the original bill, said he has concerns about the Kasich plan.
“Parts of the bill look like they may be OK. Other parts, I think, are going to allow way too much future regulation potential by a future governor that could diminish the ability to draw water,” he said. “My biggest concern is manufacturing and jobs.”
Kasich’s plan also limits how long a water permit is extended, while the original bill granted a unlimited patent extension if a business closes. The governor said, however, his proposed language is subject to change and “it’s better to get it done right than to hurry it up.”
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