Wisconsin Legislative Updates

Here are some important legislative proposals before the Wisconsin state legislature. For a fuller list of Democratic proposals, see Under the Dome Updates

"AB" refers to Assembly Bill. "SB" refers to Senate Bill. Usually one bill is written exactly the same way in the Assembly and Senate version, although they have different numbers. "LRB" refers to Legislative Resource Bureau, which indicates that the proposal has not yet become an official bill.

Please consider contacting your state legislators to support good bills and reject bad ones: the distinction will be pretty obvious. Click HERE for contact information of our elected officials.

Also consider writing a letter to the editor concerning these bills. Such a letter informs the public and nudges our legislators. Click HERE for contact information to submit a letter.

LRB 5093 Raising the Bar on Clean Water 
Providing farmers technical assistance related to water quality, organic production, and soil health; increasing cost-share rates; granting rule-making authority; and making an appropriation. (Source: Under the Dome, Jan 24 2020)

LRB 5092 Raising the Bar on Clean Water 2 

Groundwater monitoring, CAFO fees, nutrient management plans, well construction rules, the SnapPlus program, and making an appropriation. (Source: Under the Dome, Jan 24 2020)

LRB 3583 Raising the Bar on Clean Water 3 

Well compensation grants, lead service line replacements, funding for soil and water programs, and making an appropriation. (Source: Under the Dome, Jan 24 2020)

LRB 5094 Raising the Bar on Clean Water 4 

Groundwater standards and waterborne dangers, funding for the state laboratory of hygiene, and making an appropriation. (Source: Under the Dome, Jan 24 2020)

LRB 4127 Raising the Bar on Clean Water 5 

Mining, wetlands, shoreland zoning, and scientist and educator positions and making an appropriation. (Source: Under the Dome, Jan 24 2020)

LRB 3915: Funding for County Conservationists
County conservation staff are the boots on the ground for water quality protections. LRB 3915 will increase funding for county conservation staff by $2,960,900 in fiscal year 2020-21, bringing the total of $12.4 million for county conservation staff in fiscal year 2020-21.

LRB 4717: Assistance to Farmers for Conservation
Farmers are currently encouraged to employ practices that reduce water pollution runoff. LRB 4717 would fund several important programs to help farmers reduce pollution through measures such as managed grazing, producer-led watershed protection grants, and certification in the Water Stewardship Program.

LRB 3797 /LRB 5162: Legislative and Congressional redistricting  constitutional amendment 
This bill would amend the Wisconsin State Constitution to require non-partisan legislative and congressional redistricting. (Source: Capitol Update, Jan 10, 2020)

LRB 5062 / LRB 5271: Well compensation grant program 
This bill would expand the types of wells eligible under the well compensation grant program and eliminate the requirement that a homeowner must own livestock to qualify for grants for nitrate contamination. (Source: Capitol Update, Jan 10, 2020)

LRB 4716 / LRB 5277 : Supporting the Center for Watershed Science and Education, creating a hydrogeologist position, funding research on phosphorus recovery and reuse, creating grant programs for counties to test wells and provide public education 
These bills would provide funding for various positions and programs related to water quality research and education. (Source: Capitol Update, Jan 10, 2020)

LRB 4355/ LRB 4356/ LRB 4357: The Wisconsin Corrections Reform & Reinvestment Initiative 
These bills would add inmates who complete a vocational readiness training program while incarcerated to the earned release program, change the conditions under which a person's probation, parole, or extended supervision may be revoked, limit the amount of time for which a sentencing court may sentence a person to extended supervision for certain felonies, create an earned compliance credit for time spent on extended supervision or parole, and allow a sentencing court to discharge a person early from extended supervision. (Source: Capitol Update, Jan 10, 2020)

LRB 4022 Requirements For An Achievement Gap Reduction Contract 
This bill requires that, under an AGR contract, school board must reduce class size to no more than 18 pupils, or 30 pupils if the classroom has at least two regular classroom teachers, and provide professional development for teachers related to small group instruction. (Source: Capitol Update, Dec 20, 2019)

LRB 4591 Community relations grants 
“The Community-Police Relations Act” would require the Department of Justice to allocate $2,500,000 a year in grant funding for counties or municipalities with at least 10% minority populations. (Source: Capitol Update, Dec 20, 2019)

Introduced Dec 2, 2019. Assigned to Committee on Agriculture.
The Farmland Preservation program incentivizes keeping lands that are best for farming from being vulnerable to the economic pressures of development. The results are better water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat. AB 637 would implement changes to the farmland preservation program in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to make it more user-friendly for Wisconsin’s farmers, which should encourage more participation in this valuable conservation program. (Source: Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Dec 9, 2019)

LRB 0476: The regulation of ferrous metallic mining and related activities 
This bill would reinstate environmental protections in relation to ferrous mining law. The environmental protections were relaxed to entice a single company’s business to Wisconsin- a company that has long since abandoned the state. The environmental protections are now weakened for no reason. (Source: Capitol Update, Dec 6, 2019)

LRB 3848: Helping School Districts
 Pay for Weatherization Projects 
Wisconsin Conservation Voters urges you to support LRB 3848, which is currently circulating for co-sponsorship Many of our schools are older and have inefficient energy systems that require more fossil fuels to be burned, which costs money and creates more pollution that impacts children’s health. LRB 3848 would create a $1.5 million annual grant program in the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction designed to support critical updates meant to increase energy efficiency to help reduce fossil fuel reliance in Wisconsin’s public schools. (Sources: Capitol Update, Dec 6, 2019. Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Dec 9, 2019)

LRB 3971: Establishing Green Banks 
Wisconsin Conservation Voters urges you to support LRB 3971, which is currently circulating for co-sponsorship. We need to capitalize on the abundant clean energy potential in Wisconsin to create new jobs and improve our quality of life. Green banks are specialized public financial entities that partner with the private sector to fund infrastructure projects yielding sustainable and energy-efficient projects, and/or environmental benefits. LRB 3971 would require the Department of Administration (DOA) to conduct a study into developing a green bank in Wisconsin to finance commercially viable clean energy technologies that would otherwise face barriers to attracting capital. (Capitol Update, Dec 6, 2019. Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Dec 9, 2019) 

LRB 4201: Creating a Sustainable Farming Grant Program 
Wisconsin farmers are experiencing the negative impacts of extreme weather events on their productivity and livelihood. Our vast farmland can be employed to help reduce and mitigate our state’s carbon emissions, while helping farmers cover their expenses. LRB 4201 would create a sustainable agriculture grant program in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) designed to support Wisconsin’s farmers, reduce fossil fuel usage, and sequester carbon dioxide from our air. (Sources: Capitol Update, Dec 6, 2019. Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Dec 9, 2019)

LRB 4294: The Water Pollution Notification Act 
LRB 4249 is currently (Dec. 9, 2019) circulating for co-sponsorship. In many rural Wisconsin communities families rely on private wells. Well owners are responsible for knowing if their water is safe to drink. When there are pollution spills that might impact the safety of their water, they are not given any formal notification that they should test their wells. LRB 4294 would require the DNR to notify a county if a holder of a WPDES permit has violated a groundwater standard. This would give counties the ability to notify families that may be at risk of well water contamination and take to necessary precautions. (Sources: Capitol Update, Dec 6, 2019. Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Dec 9, 2019)

LRB 4811: Evaluating the Social Cost of Carbon Emissions in Wiscon
LRB 4811 is currently (Dec. 9, 2019) circulating for co-sponsorship. Climate change is having an impact on all areas of our economy, our health, and the landscape of our communities. Currently, Wisconsin citizens are left to deal with these negative impacts on their own. LRB 4811 would require the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to consider the social cost of carbon in its analysis as it decides whether to approve the construction of new utility-scale energy generation facilities, high voltage transmission lines, and certain other public utility projects. (Sources: Capitol Update, Dec 6, 2019. Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Dec 9, 2019)