Rep. Shankland: $72 Million of Inaction — Memo Underscores Missed Opportunities to Act on Water Quality Crisis

By: State Rep. Katrina Shankland 6/28/19 Urban Milwaukee

MADISON – Today, Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) released a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau which details the significant disparity in funding between Governor Evers’ clean water budget provisions and the version passed by Republican lawmakers earlier this week. In response, Rep. Shankland said:

“This memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau clearly outlines $72 million of missed opportunities to clean up our water. Unfortunately, Republicans in the Legislature failed to address Wisconsin’s water quality crisis in a meaningful way in the budget when presented with the perfect opportunity for bipartisan collaboration. The stark contrast in the memo between the people’s budget and the Republican budget underscores Governor Evers’ leadership in declaring 2019 the “Year of Clean Drinking Water” and the historic investments he made, while highlighting the opportunities that Republicans forfeited when they slashed the governor’s recommendations by tens of millions of dollars. That funding would have made a real difference for Wisconsinites across our state and helped to address our state’s water quality issues.

“From Milwaukee to Kewaunee County, people are unable to drink water from their taps due to widespread contamination by lead, nitrates, bacteria, and arsenic. This is unacceptable. In traveling throughout the state, I have heard loud and clear from Wisconsinites of every walk of life who are dealing with our water quality crisis. Governor Evers’ budget delivered on the needs of the people of our state, but Republicans missed the mark.”

“Everyone deserves access to clean drinking water, and no one should have to buy bottled water because their drinking water is contaminated. Governor Evers understands this, and by introducing these initiatives, he showed that he is willing and ready to act to address this crisis. I’m grateful for his leadership, but disappointed in the Republican legislature’s unwillingness to act. This memo should serve as motivation for everyone to continue advocating fiercely for clean water. The stakes are too high to wait another minute for legislative action.”