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Last week the Assembly passed a Budget Repair bill that would impose crippling cuts on the DNR Water Division. Citizens who care about the health of the water they drink must voice their opposition to this bill to their legislators.

Overall, the Governor, Joint Finance Committee and Assembly have slashed $2.5 million from programs that protect our precious water resources.

If signed into law this Bill would:

·                    Delay implementation of the federal Safe Water Drinking Act;

·                    Decrease inspections for the safety of public water supplies;

·                    Eliminate Wisconsin’s regulation of animal waste in our waters;

·                    Delay efforts to reduce arsenic in our drinking water (which is a known
cancer-causing chemical).

·                    Reducing inspections designed to insure the quality of public water supply system;

·                    Cutting back important groundwater research into acute and chronic health risks;

·                    Reducing wetlands ecology work and wetland regulatory staff;

·                    Reducing lake management programs;

·                    The bill would establish an Invasive Species Task Force and a statewide invasive species control program but would not provide funding for this new program.

·                    The bill would significantly reduce funding for land acquisition by DNR and through grants to local organizations. Overall, the Stewardship Program’s appropriations would be reduced from $60 million to $35 million annually. Also proposed are more technical program changes that would make land acquisitions more difficult.

The Senate will be holding public hearings on the bill over the next week.  WE URGE YOU TO ATTEND THE HEARING IN YOUR REGION OR TO CALL OR E-MAIL YOUR SENATOR and tell them you want the state to protect your water supplies and to restore the budget cuts to the DNR Water Division.

The Senate needs to know that Wisconsin citizens are concerned about the health of their water. Every voice counts.  If you want more information on the proposed cuts you can either call the River Alliance at 608-257-2424 or check out our website:

The Senate Biennial Budget Committee, chaired by Sen. Robert Jauch, has announced five public hearings on the bill as follows:

10 a.m. Tuesday, March 19, UW-Superior; Kathryn Ohman Theatre, McCaskill Hall, Belknap Street and Catlin Ave., Superior

10 a.m. Wednesday, March 20, UW-Eau Claire; Davies Center Ojibwa Room, 105 Garfield Ave., Eau Claire

10 a.m. Thursday, March 21, UW-Green Bay; University Union

1 p.m. Monday, March 25, UW-Milwaukee; Student Union, Fireside Lounge, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd., Milwaukee

10 a.m. Tuesday, March 26, UW-Madison; Memorial Union, Tripp Commons, 800 Langdon St., Madison


  • Plan to attend and speak out at one of the hearings listed above
  • Write, call or e-mail your state senator.

If you don’t know who that is, click here:

·        Call the toll-free hot line at the capitol (1 800 362-9472 or 266-9960, locally) and say “I would like to leave a message for the Senator who represents the district in which I live, (give your address)

  • If you write a letter, send it to: Your Senator, P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI 53707.

The budget repair bill is now in the Senate. They will adopt a budget that is different from the Assembly’s so there will be need for a conference committee. Therefore leaders of the Assembly should be aware of your feelings as well. So please include them on your contact list, as well. 

Rep. Steven Foti, 608 266-2401

P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708

Rep. Scott Jensen, 608 266-3387

P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708

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