MADISON — The Great Lakes Compact, an agreement among the eight Great Lakes state governors to manage Great Lakes water, passed through the Wisconsin State Senate with a 26-6 bipartisan supermajority.

After passing the Senate, the Great Lakes Compact must pass through the Wisconsin Assembly and be signed by Governor Doyle. The Compact has received widespread media attention and support from citizens, businesses, and environmental advocates throughout the state.

“The Great Lakes Compact represents seven years of work and planning to create a legacy for the Great Lakes.” Melissa Malott, Clean Wisconsin Water Program Director stated. “With supporters including the City of Waukesha and the Paper Council — one of the largest water users in the state — we hope that the Assembly will see the widespread support for this draft of the Compact, and pass it in this session or a special session.

Governor Doyle has been vocal about his support for the Great Lakes Compact, and is expected to call for a special session of the Assembly to pass the Compact. Once all the Great Lakes states have passed the Compact, it will go to the US Congress for consent, upon which it will be binding. Minnesota, Illinois, and Indiana, have approved the Compact, New York has passed the Compact through both chambers, and legislation is pending in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.