Lawmaker Task Force Urges $10M for Clean Water Initiatives

A bipartisan water pollution task force proposed more than a dozen bills Wednesday designed to curb contamination across Wisconsin, capping a year’s worth of research and discussion.

The package released Wednesday calls for the state to spend $10 million on a range of initiatives including: creating a new water policy office; bumping up state funding for county conservation workers; increasing grants for rebuilding or replacing wells contaminated with manure and fertilizer; and grants for farmers who grow crops that require less fertilizer.

“It’s clear we can’t just throw money at these issues, thinking they’ll immediately go away,” Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who created the task force, said in a statement. “Wisconsin needs a long-term strategy to protect, preserve and promote clean water. These bills are a first step toward that goal.”

The bills must pass the Assembly and Senate and be signed by Evers before becoming law.

Evers’ spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said in a statement that the governor was glad to see lawmakers following his lead on water pollution.