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During its 30-plus years in existence, the Institute has maintained core competencies in numerous policy areas critical to the federal legislative issues of the day. It has compiled data and tracked the effects of federal programs on our region, illuminated flaws in federal laws that negatively impact the region, rallied coalition members around both authorization and appropriations measures that address regional needs, and served as a clearinghouse resource for the staffs of coalition members with research and analytical documents that can be used during the legislative process to advance the agenda of the region.

The Institute provides detailed reports on the flow of federal funds to the states, offers an annual regional analysis of the president’s budget, and tracks key regional programs through the appropriations process. With the Institute’s help, coalition leaders will continue to battle those who want to divert funding from low-income energy assistance, community development grants, and other programs important to the Northeast-Midwest region.

The Institute’s current programmatic strengths include protecting the region’s watersheds from pollution, cleaning up the region’s contaminated sites, enhancing the region’s access to trade, fostering the region’s manufacturing base, protecting the region’s farms while increasing the access of its underserved urban residents to healthy food, seeking restoration of the region’s great water bodies (the Great Lakes, the Chesapeake Bay, and Lake Champlain), protecting both the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the region from invasive species, revitalizing the economies of the region’s older industrial cities, and seeking the repair of the region’s aging infrastructure.