By: Bob Hague, Wisconsin Radio Network
The state Assembly has approved a 13 bill, $10 million plan to address water quality in Wisconsin. Lawmakers sparred Tuesday over who deserves credit.
“If Governor Tony Evers had not declared 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water, we wouldn’t be here today, making sure that we’re acting on not just clean drinking water but surface water qand water quality in general,” said Representative Katrina Shankland. (D-Stevens Point).
“This was not started bu Governor Evers, even though I want to thank him for also calling this the Year of Clean Water,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). Vos credited Representatives Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville) for getting the issue attention from Assembly Republicans.
Vos formed the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality has been created to gather information and make policy recommendations.
“We need to remember that this is just the beginning,” said Novak, who served with Shankland as task force co-chair. “Challenges with water quality did not start overnight. They started decades ago, so this is going to take some time and this is just the beginning. We also need to remember that clean water is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it’s a state of Wisconsin issue.”
“This isn’t partisan issue. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or a Democrat, if you live in Milwaukee or in southwest Wisconsin. We all deserve clean drinking water and this is certainly a step in the right direction,” Tranel said. The package must still be passed by the state Senate, before going to Governor Tony Evers.