June 22, 2021

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Applauds Assembly’s Passage of Five Efforts

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after five bills he authored passed the Assembly during today’s floor session. One bill, Senate Bill (SB) 70, creates a Tax Accountability Dashboard on the Department of Revenue’s website where charts and graphs showing the source of revenues and expenditures of general purpose revenue are made available to the public. SB 70 is authored with Representative Kerkman (R-Salem), and will now head to the Governor for his consideration to become law. 

“Wisconsin state government has a strong tradition of accountability and transparency, and recent changes have brought that into the modern era. The Tax Accountability Dashboard is the next step in this ongoing effort. Senate Bill 70 is geared towards ensuring residents have a better chance to see and understand where their tax dollars are being spent by creating an accessible, clear, and upfront series of data and graphics.”

Two more bills that passed today would make changes to the regulatory process for local water utilities. Assembly Bill (AB) 300 addresses utilities concerns with delays on required approvals for lead service line replacement program and construction authorization applications by placing timelines for action on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC). AB 302 exempts water meter installation, repair or replacement projects from required approval for these routine projects. AB 300 was authored with Representative Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) and Senator Taylor (D-Milwaukee), and AB 302 was authored with Rep. VanderMeer (R-Tomah) and Sen. Taylor. Both bills now head to the Senate where the companion bills are awaiting a hearing.

“The PSC approval process can not only be time consuming, but it can be costly. Both of these bills were drafted and introduced after hearing from water utilities in the 2nd Senate District and throughout the state about the problems they faced receiving attention on their applications and interpreting current law for when approvals on meter projects are necessary. ABs 300 and 302 represent small, yet important changes to give water utilities more regulatory certainty as they continue providing our communities with clean and drinkable water.”

Two other bills authored by Senator Cowles also passed the Assembly today, including:

  • Senate Bill 91 – This bill reduces the regulatory complexity for good actors which, under current law, must obtain numerous permits for hydrologic restoration projects, meaning more time, paperwork, and fees. SB 91 is authored with Representatives Oldenburg (R-Viroqua) and Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and Senator Bewley (D-Mason), and now heads to the Governor for his consideration.
  • Senate Bill 248 – As a result of stakeholder input, this bill makes a series of changes that will help our electronics recycling program function better, provide stakeholders with more clarity, create a grant program to improve rural collections, and collect valuable information without more regulatory burdens. SB 248 was authored with Mursau (R-Crivitz), and now heads to the Governor for his consideration.