Senate water bill example of good party cooperation

A $12.3 billion water infrastructure bill that received final congressional approval Thursday gets our nod of support.

The measure, as reported by The Associated Press, will increase the amount of money for improving ports and deepening sand-choked shipping channels in the Great Lakes region.

And that, from where we and a whole lot of others sit, is very good news.

According to AP, the measure, which received bipartisan support, designates the lakes as a single navigational system for funding purposes, enabling the region to compete for money as one unit, instead of individual port communities being pitted against each other

It also requires the government to make greater use of an existing fund for maintaining deep-draft ports and waterways.

AP stated the bill cleared the Senate by a 91-7 plurality after winning approval in the House by a 412-4 margin.

Just over 51 percent of the money collected by the fund is used for harbor maintenance, something shipping companies have been asking for for years, said AP.

The bill will boost that portion to 67 percent in the next fiscal year. The rate will continue rising 3 percent annually until 2025, when it hits 100 percent.

This is a good example of how the two parties, which are typically at each other’s throats, can work together when common ground is found.

Going forward, we believe there are profound lessons to be learned here.