GOP Throws Manure on Governor Evers’ Clean Water Initiatives
(MADISON) – Today, the Joint Finance Committee held an executive session on portions of Governor Evers’ Department of Natural Resources (DNR) budget proposal. People across the state voiced overwhelming support for Governor Evers’ declaration of 2019 as the Year of Clean Drinking Water and his plans to address the drinking water crisis in our state. Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee ignored the will of the people once again by stripping increased CAFO regulation from the Governor’s budget, failing to restore needed scientific research through the creation of the Natural Resources Science Bureau, and neglecting to expand the well compensation grant program for families dealing with contaminated wells. In response, Democratic members of the Joint Finance Committee issued the following statements:
“Future generations deserve the same opportunities that we have, from outdoor recreation to access to clean drinking water,” said Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point). “For eight long years, Republicans have turned their back on common sense environmental policies. But when infants are getting sick from excessive nitrates in our water, families have liquid manure coming out of their faucets, and 1.7 million Wisconsin residents rely on private wells and nearly half of those wells do not meet acceptable health standards, it is time to act.”
“Clean drinking water and science should not be a partisan issue. Yet once again, Republicans have turned the ‘People’s Budget’ into the ‘Politicians’ Budget’ and did absolutely nothing to regulate CAFOs which are polluting our waters and sickening our communities,” said Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “The Republicans’ failure to act today is consistent with their failure to act for the last 8 years.”
“All across Wisconsin, from Ashland to Racine, drinking water is becoming increasingly unsafe. Governor Evers’ declaration of 2019 as the ‘Year of Clean Drinking Water’ should enjoy support from every member of this Legislature regardless of political affiliation.” Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) said. “Unfortunately, today, Republicans added to their embarrassing environmental track record by stripping out key provisions from Evers’ clean water proposals.”
“Returning science to the DNR will help us better understand the water quality crisis in Wisconsin. That shouldn’t be controversial statement but Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee just voted against funding for experts to tell us whether or not our water is safe, and how to ensure all Wisconsinites have safe, clean water for generations.” said Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee).