Bipartisan group of legislators proposes Wisconsin clean water fund in bill

By: Bremen Keasey, The Daily Cardinal 

A bipartisan group of legislators, including Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, introduced legislation to create a new state trust fund specifically for clean water projects.

Under the bill, the legislature would transfer $10 million every two years from general funds to a protected clean water fund that can only be used for water quality initiatives.

“Every single person in Wisconsin deserves to drink clean and safe water from their tap, and we have a lot of work to do if we want to make that our reality,” Shankland said in a statement. “This clean water fund will help us ensure that the money is there when we need it.”

In last year’s State of the State address, Gov. Tony Evers declared 2019 would be the “year of clean drinking water,” highlighting the need to address a wide variety of water quality problems in Wisconsin, from lead pipes in homes to polluted wells in rural areas.

Shankland pointed to examples of similar clean water funds in Minnesota and Ohio having “tremendous success” and believes this bill would be a good first step to protect Wisconsin’s water.

“I’m proud to introduce this legislation with the support of colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and I look forward to having many conversations about this legislation and the need for a clean water fund for our future,” Shankland said.