MADISON — Governor Doyle today called on the State legislature to convene in a special session on Thursday, April 17th and pass the Great Lakes Compact, an agreement between eight states and two Canadian provinces not to divert water outside of the Great Lakes region.

Special sessions are called for specific issues, to focus on important public policy matters and unfinished business after the regularly schedules floor period ends. This is the first special session in Wisconsin’s history specifically calling for Great Lakes protection.

“We appreciate the Governor’s leadership in calling a special session to finish the work of adopting legislation that will ratify and implement the Great Lakes Compact in Wisconsin,” said Keith Reopelle. “The bill the Senate passed certainly would provide strong implementation of the Compact in Wisconsin; we’ll have to see the draft amendment language before we’ll know if the Assembly’s version is adequate.”

After the Senate passed the Compact with a 26-6 bipartisan supermajority, the Assembly failed to bring the measure to a vote during the regular session, prompting Governor Doyle to call the special session. Wisconsin residents overwhelmingly support the passage of Great Lakes protections.

“We hope the Assembly will listen to the concerns of voters and follow the leadership of the Senate and the Governor,” said Mellissa Malott, Water Program Director at Clean Wisconsin. “We cannot wait to protect one of Wisconsin’s most treasured resources,” she said. Clean Wisconsin and a broad coalition of environmental groups and other stakeholders have diligently worked on trying to pass the strongest Compact possible to best protect The Great Lakes.