May 29, 2015

CONTACT: Rep. Todd Novak 608.266.7502

Novak Supports Efforts to Maintain Stewardship Fund

MADISON – Representative Todd Novak (Dodgeville) applauded the action of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee in reversing Governor Walker’s proposed moratorium of land purchases as a part of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Friday, the JFC approved a plan that restores the ability for continued land purchases and reduces the Stewardship Program’s overall debt.

“Preserving our Wisconsin’s rich natural resources for future generations is something that I strongly believe needs to be a priority in our budget,” said Rep. Novak. “In sharing my concerns about the Governor’s proposed moratorium, I want to thank the members of the JFC for reversing this proposal and moving to improve the Program’s sustainability.”

Under the proposal initially presented by the Governor, the state would have been unable to continue land purchases for the next 13 years. In the motion adopted by the JFC earlier today, land acquisition authority was restored and a conservative plan for purchases was outlined to increase the financial sustainability of the Program. Overall, the Stewardship Program’s debt will be reduced by about $140 million over the course of the next 20 years.

“Thanks to the success of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, today southwest Wisconsin is home to a number of preserves and restoration areas that draw tourists, sportsmen and women and nature enthusiast alike,” said Novak. “Thanks to the input of many constituents and stakeholders, I’m proud to have worked to prioritize this successful program in our state’s next budget.”

The state budget is expected to be voted on by the Legislature in June.