Republicans, Democrats Introduce New Environmental Bills on Earth Day

By Brian Will, WSAW

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -- While many spent Earth Day at various events showing support for the environment, state Democrats and Republicans alike introduced different ways they'd like to protect the environment.




"To restore local control to our local government leaders who might want to limit plastic bags. I am also introducing legislation to invest in our clean energy economy and support manufactures that might want to get into the clean energy business," explained Democratic State Representative Katrina Shankland, 71st Assembly District.

Shankland's bills would also create an independent public entity for renewable energy and create a private well testing program.

Republicans had their own ideas and want to pay for them with money already with the state. "We got money through Focus On Energy so we are going to tap into Focus On Energy money and the other pool of money we are going to tap into is the Volkswagen settlement. Wisconsin sued Volkswagen awhile back and we got a pretty big settlement," explained Republican State Representative Scott Krug, 72nd Assembly District.

Republicans introduced five initiatives with three bills geared towards offering credits for those who want to use renewable energy. Grants for businesses to install electric vehicle charging stations and grants for wind and solar education. Along with funding for the Stewardship program and an e-recycling program.

"I think it is important for everybody to know that everybody wants clean air and clean water. We all want to make sure we are committed to it," said Krug.

"What I would like to see is for them to work with Democrats on these issues and look at what is already in Governor Evers' budget and support those. And work with us to make these issues bipartisan," explained Shankland. ​

The bills can now be cosponsored so parties are waiting to see if any of these ideas end up going through the legislature.