MADISON- Today, after passing the State Assembly unanimously in February, 2021 Assembly Bill 727 was approved by the Wisconsin State Senate. The legislation aims to protect our drinking water and groundwater by creating a nitrogen optimization pilot program to help farmers reduce nitrogen loading and leaching, starting a new cover crop insurance rebate program to help farmers utilize cover crops to improve soil health, and creating a new Wisconsin State Hydrogeologist position to help local governments find and address local hotspots of contamination.
As an author of the bill, and Vice Chair of the 2019-20 Task Force on Water Quality, Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement in response:
“I am thrilled that at long last, this bipartisan legislation I authored has cleared both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature and is headed to Governor Evers’ desk to be signed into law! Last session, I co-chaired the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality and helped draft legislation to address our state’s water quality issues, and we took several steps forward by passing our ten bipartisan proposals, including the provisions contained within this bill, unanimously through the State Assembly. While they never made it through the Senate due to the onset of the pandemic, I was glad to reintroduce this bill with my colleagues across the aisle this session.
“I’ve been working hard with my colleagues to carry the torch of that unfinished work forward, and I am so proud that with the support of nearly every agricultural organization and many environmental groups in the state, this bill has finally been approved by both houses! This legislation will provide much-needed support for farmers in taking preventative measures that protect our drinking water, as well as helping local governments find and address contamination where it occurs. Everyone deserves clean drinking water – and I’ll keep saying so and backing up my words with legislative action. Today is a great day for clean water.”