Sen. Hansen Praises Public’s Role in Defeat of Controversial Water Bill
Public outcry forced the bill to be removed from Senate calendar
(Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said today that public backlash against a bill that would make it easier to turn control of public drinking water over to out-of-state corporations led to the bill’s apparent demise in the State Senate.
“I was so happy to see the public outcry against this bill. Thanks to everyone who spoke out the bill was removed from the Senate calendar and it looks to be defeated,” said Hansen an outspoken opponent of the bill.
The controversial bill was introduced at the request of Aqua American, a Pennsylvania corporation that buys public water utilities to operate for profit. In many cases that has been a bad deal for residents in communities where Aqua America took over control of their drinking water. In order to increase profits in some communities, Aqua America has fired staff, reduced quality and raised rates. One community saw their average water rate skyrocket from $153 to $707 an increase of 397%.
“Assembly Bill 554 was nothing more than a giveaway to Aqua America, a Pennsylvania corporation that wanted to gain control over Wisconsin’s drinking water,” said Hansen. “Clean water is one of our greatest assets and its protection should remain the responsibility of the public. It should not be sold to a faceless corporation that is only interested in making a profit from it. I’m glad so many agree and made their voices heard.”