Rep. Shankland Introduces New Bills on Earth Day

By Logan Wenger, WSAU News

MADISON, WI (WSAU) -- State Representative Katrina Shankland (D - Stevens Point) introduced two new environmentally focused bills on Earth Day.

One of the bills would require the DNR to publish information regarding climate change on to their website and also in the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine. Rep. Shankland says people have the right to know about this information because it affects many people in many different ways.

"We really need to face up to the real problems of climate change," said Shankland. "It's going to impact our agriculture, our economy, our public health. It'll certainly impact global and economic security. And, I think that's important to recognize. We shouldn't be shying away from that discussion."

The other bill would reinstate scientist research positions there were cut in the 2015-2017 biennial budget. Rep. Shankland says she's hoping to have conversations about reinstating these positions as soon as possible.

She said, "I'm hopeful that whether through the budget process or throughout the year we can have a meaningful discussion on why we need to invest in our DNA because this budget doesn't hire more staff like it should be. I think the dozens of people who were laid off in the last budget, through no fault of their own, needs to be rectified right away."

Rep. Shankland says it meant a lot to her to be able to introduce these bills on Earth Day because she knows how much outdoor activities and having clean air and water mean to her constituents. She says the next step for the bills is to plan public hearings and to continue to promote how important funding the DNR truly is.