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State Capitol Report

Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you enjoyed the weekend and the many wonderful events in Central Wisconsin! From parades and fireworks to swimming and biking, we are lucky to have so many wonderful ways to enjoy our community. Here at the Capitol, we just wrapped up the state budget process. This e-newsletter also provides updates on the Water Quality Task Force, renewable energy legislation, and more.

Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts, questions, ideas, or concerns. I am happy to meet with you, visit your workplace, take a tour of your business, or attend a meeting of your organization – just ask. To stay informed, feel free to check out my Facebook page and website for updates, including news stories and photos of my meetings and visits around the district.  


Thank you for following along, and please let me know how I can best serve you. Your voice is very important to me!


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Katrina Shankland, 

State Representative

71st Assembly District

State Budget Update: Where Are We Now?

Since my last update, the state budget process has come to a close. The Joint Committee on Finance put forward their recommendations, and a significantly amended version of the budget passed the Assembly and Senate in late June.

The resulting document cut $72 million in clean water initiatives from the governor’s budget, rejected the Medicaid expansion, reduced the funding allocated for public education by $900 million, and cut the UW System budget increase in half. These significant changes were enough to ensure the budget passed on a party-line vote, and I was disappointed by the many missed opportunities to work together to benefit our community and invest in education, infrastructure, healthcare, and our natural resources.

On July 3, Governor Evers signed the budget into law while using his constitutional veto authority to make a series of partial vetoes. Through these partial vetoes, he found ways to improve the budget, increasing needed investments for the people of our state, including $100 million more for our public school classrooms, $10 million for Electric Vehicle car charging infrastructure, and funding for producer-led watershed grants to protect our vital water resources.

 Photo (below): Governor Evers signs the 2019-21 biennial state budget into law on July 3, 2019

The final product improved the budget significantly. 2019 Wisconsin Act 9 starts us on the path to investing in our schools, broadband expansion, child welfare, rural hospitals, transit, roads and infrastructure, but much remains to be done. From investing in higher education to expanding Medicaid and ensuring everyone has clean water, we can do more, and I’ll continue to advocate for these vital initiatives.


Supporting Clean Energy Jobs and Investing in Technology

I recently introduced legislation (AB 270) to create a renewable energy development authority to provide grants, loans, technical assistance, technology licensing, and equity financing for clean energy in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Journal covered it here and I was recently on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss it here.

Clean energy is just as affordable as other energy sources, and clean energy jobs are growing at a faster rate than others. It makes sense for our economy and our environment to support the transition to renewable energy while creating good jobs that can’t be outsourced. I look forward to continuing to champion renewable energy in the legislature.


Representative Shankland Named Wisconsin Paper Council Legislator of the Year

Last month, I was proud to be named Legislator of the Year by the Wisconsin Paper Council. I am pleased to serve as Assembly Vice-Chair of the bipartisan Wisconsin Paper Caucus. As a strong advocate for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Paper Science and Chemical Engineering Program and the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology, I believe we can work together to spur research to support family-supporting jobs. Wisconsin continues to lead the nation in paper, and I look forward to continuing my work across the aisle to sustain the industry and promote these family-supporting jobs.

WPC awardPhoto (above): Rep. Shankland is named Legislator of the Year at the Wisconsin Paper Council's (WPC) annual meeting. Pictured with Scott Suder, WPC President (left) and former Packer LeRoy Butler (right) 


Task Force on Water Quality: Updates

Over the past few months, the bipartisan, bicameral Water Quality Task Force has held two informational hearings at the Capitol, as well as four public hearings throughout Wisconsin.

As Vice Chair of the Task Force, I am committed to finding science-based solutions to the many water quality issues facing Wisconsin. As we traveled to Lancaster, Janesville, Mauston, and La Crosse, we have heard from a diverse group of stakeholders, including county board supervisors, scientists, health departments, farmers, county conservationists, water associations, and businesses about what is being done around the state to improve water quality and how the state can help with those efforts.

Wetlands Tour 2019

Photo (above): Task Force members take a wetlands tour in the La Crosse area with the Wisconsin Wetlands Association

We are almost halfway through our tour of the state; as we continue, organizations and the public will be able to share their personal stories about water quality, express their specific concerns, and offer their insights and recommendations to the task force. We have heard from people about the important work that county conservationists, producer-led watershed protection groups, and others are doing in Central Wisconsin and throughout the state. In La Crosse, we also heard from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about their clean water initiatives.

Our next stops are Sturtevant, Tomahawk, and Stevens Point! I encourage you to attend the Stevens Point hearing on July 24. When we have the official location and time, it will be announced on the task force website, and I encourage you to attend and provide public testimony to the task force. You can find more information on the task force website.

We have a number of water quality concerns in our state, from PFAS to lead to nitrate and bacteria in our drinking water. You can listen to me discuss these issues further on Wisconsin Public Radio here.


19th Amendment Centennial Celebration

On June 10, Wisconsin celebrated the 100-year anniversary of becoming the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting women the right to vote. There were festivities all day at the Capitol, including a program in the rotunda, which included the unveiling of the original 19th Amendment document, available for viewing throughout the day.

Photo (below): Wisconsin women in state government celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment


Looking Forward

As we move further into the summer and the legislative session, I encourage you to reach out regarding any bills that I’m introducing and other bills that come before the legislature.

Feel free to call, email, or write! I always appreciate hearing from you, and it is an honor to serve the 71st Assembly District.

Thank you for following along. I look forward to staying in touch!

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