Birkholz Institutes

The Birkholz Institutes bring together a small group of legislators to take a deep dive into an issue on the GLLC’s policy agenda and form a task force to lead the Caucus’ work to take coordinated regional action on the issue.

The members of the Caucus chose to name these biennial institutes in honor of the GLLC’s founder, the late Michigan Senator Patricia (Patty) Birkholz. Senator Birkholz’s vision for the GLLC was to “bring key Great Lakes lawmakers together regularly to share knowledge and hear other perspectives” for the purpose of “improving the impact and uniformity of practices established in statute.”

2023 Birkholz Institute: Climate Resiliency in Great Lakes Communities

2023 Birkholz Fellows:

  • IL Senator Laura Ellman
  • IN Representative Maureen Bauer
  • MI Senator Joe Bellino
  • MI Representative Jenn Hill
  • MN Representative Athena Hollins
  • MN Senator Karin Housley
  • OH Representative Daniel Troy
  • ON MPP Ric Bresee
  • ON MPP Jennifer French
  • QC MNA Joëlle Boutin
  • QC MNA Désirée  McGraw
  • WI Representative Deb Andraca
  • WI Senator Kelda Roys

2023 Birkholz Steering Committee

  • IL Senator Laura Fine, Co-chair
  • MN Commissioner David Senjem, Co-chair
  • IN Representative David Abbott
  • MI Representative Rachel Hood
  • MN Senator Ann Rest
  • WI Senator André Jacque, GLLC Chair

If you have any questions, contact Jess Lienhardt at

Past Institutes

2019 Birkholz Institute in Detroit, Michigan

October 25-27, 2019

Task Force on Nutrient Management