WEAU, Leader-Telegram, and WQOW Cover Citizen Action's Wisconsin Budget

This is a record of JFC testimony that appears on the site and goes out to Social Media.

JFC Testimony

Name: Donna Harschlipp

Name: Donna Harschlipp Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Environment

Donna Harschlipp

Name: Rod Harschlipp

Name: Rod Harschlipp Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

Rod Harschlipp

Name: Shawna Lundt

Name: Shawna Lundt Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

Shawna Lundt

Name: John Havlacheck

Name: John Havlacheck Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

John Havlacheck

Name: Bruce

Name: Bruce Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

Bruce

Name: Jerry Walters

Name: Jerry Walters Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

Jerry Walters

Name: Eleanor Wolf

Name: Eleanor Wolf Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Environment

Eleanor Wolf Testimony

Name: Sharon Hildebrand

Name: Sharon Hildebrand Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

Sharon Hildebrand

Name: Terry Kenthammer

Name: Terry Kenthammer Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Education

Terrie Kenthammer

Name: Steve Hanson

Name: Steve Hanson Site: Ellsworth - April 19 Testimony Topic: Environment

Environment Testimony

Steve Hanson
N2190 400th St.
Menomonie, WI 54751

I am here speaking today to ask the legislature to consider the long-term costs of our state’s continuing decline in environmental standards. The current Department of Natural Resources considers having a “Chamber of Commerce” mentality as its primary goal. The DNR has repeatedly worked to promote business in the state at the expense of environmental quality and our quality of life.

The state is experiencing a growth in large animal farm operations, or CAFO’s. This is producing a large challenge in management of manure from those operations. The response from the governor’s office has been to suggest moving enforcement of these laws to DATCP – giving it over to a group that primarily serves farmers, rather than the environment. Over the past several years the ability of the DNR to enforce pollution and groundwater laws has been diminished, and the ability of agricultural operations to use massive amounts of ground water from high-capacity wells has come under less regulation over time.

Our state is home to many lovely state parks – but the current budget will require the continual escalation of park fees since the funding for state parks has all but disappeared. At this rate we will soon not be able to afford to continue to visit our parks, and many other families will face the same problem. This will result in a decline of park use, which will likely be considered an excuse to sell some of those lands. It is a short-sited economic gain for the state that will destroy one of the reasons people choose to visit and live in Wisconsin.

My wife and I own and manage a small farm in rural Dunn county. Our rural life is threatened by lax enforcement of laws by the state, and by the wholesale turnover of agricultural regulation to big farming operations. We live in a particularly vulnerable area where we do not know if threat to our land will come from having our ground water sucked up by large farms, from having our neighboring farms become frac sand operations, or having our ground water contaminated by run-off. We have made major investments on our farm to improve our runoff and management of our water. We have done this solely because it is the right thing to do, and keeping our beautiful soil and managing our farm for the future is important to us. We are all too aware that some of the larger farming operations in our area will not conform to the same standards, and the state has all but abandoned enforcement.

I ask the state to restore funding to environmental concerns in the state, and to develop a much stronger mandate to enforce environmental law. I also ask the legislature to restore funds to our state park system so that they can continue to serve as an attraction for visitors, businesses, and employees in Wisconsin. Not to do so will continue to threaten the way of life of rural residents, make us less competitive in business, and will continue to destroy the Wisconsin way of life.

JFC News

Tony Evers: Funding tied to 'Act 10 compliance' could unfairly affect district

State Superintendent Tony Evers said Thursday he is concerned a proposal from Gov. Scott Walker to tie more than half a billion dollars in new school funding to how much school districts’ staff are paying toward their health care costs could be misapplied to districts that have cut costs.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's key budget planks in doubt

MADISON - Scott Walker's proposal to overhaul public workers' health care came under scrutiny Tuesday as lawmakers cast a critical eye on the GOP governor’s budget proposal.

The Legislature's budget committee opened a week of hearings on the budget bill Tuesday, with lawmakers praising parts of the budget but also singling out provisions to put off maintenance on state roads and buildings and overhaul the way the state insures its employees.

Scott Walker: 'Overwhelming majority' of school districts would get proposed new funding

School districts that have saved on health care costs by through Gov. Scott Walker's signature 2011 law curtailing collective bargaining would likely get a share of the hundreds of millions in new school funding proposed by Walker, his office said Friday. 

The comments come after Kim Eparvier, superintendent of the Peshtigo School District, told the Wisconsin State Journal that Walker's proposal tie the proposed $649 million in new funding to a fixed percentage of employee health care contributions diminishes school administrators' and school boards' power in crafting benefit packages for their employees.

WEAU, Leader-Telegram, and WQOW Cover Citizen Action's Wisconsin Budget

Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, and Jonah shared what's being called A Wisconsin Budget for All in front of the state office building in Eau Claire.

They say A Wisconsin Budget for All invests in work, education and health by closing special interest tax giveaways.

JFC Twitter

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