State Water Program Gutted by Assembly

State Water Program Gutted by Assembly

In a strongly partisan move, the Wisconsin State Assembly proposed a revised state budget that significantly undermines the state’s water programs and other important conservation initiatives. Although all state agencies are required to take a 5% across-the-board cut to make up a significant budget deficit, the Water Division of the Department of Natural Resources would swallow 70% of the agency’s cuts. This would significantly impact the programs for private well testing, wetland regulation, and animal waste, as well as other important water quality activities throughout the state. Furthermore, the Assembly has reduced the so-called “Stewardship Fund, ” the conservation fund for land acquisition, from $60 million per year to $35 million per year and also reduced funding for the new “Smart Growth” urban planning program under their revised budget. It is hoped that the State Senate, in the coming weeks, will rectify these draconian cuts to important conservation programs proposed by the Assembly.

 

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.