Combatting Climate Change
The people of Wisconsin are ready to embrace bold and ambitious climate action. Building upon the governor’s commitment to making Wisconsin 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050 and the work of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change—which included a diverse, bipartisan coalition of farmers, environmental advocates, Indigenous leaders, utility companies, and business executives—the 2021-2023 biennial budget puts Wisconsin on track to be a national leader in addressing the climate crisis and transitioning to a cleaner economy.
Clean Energy & Clean Economy
With energy production and use (outside of the transportation sector) representing 57 percent of Wisconsin’s Green House Gas emissions, it’s critical that Wisconsin takes necessary and immediate steps to improve the state’s energy production. Taking active measures to do so has the potential to result in co-benefits like improved human health, economic development, equity, and resilience. The governor’s 2021-2023 biennial budget makes investments in clean energy and workforce development that will move Wisconsin toward being a cleaner, healthier, and more economically robust state.
Innovative Conservation & Land Stewardship
Climate change is putting Wisconsin’s ecosystems and natural resources at risk—and it is threatening the industries that rely on them. However, Wisconsin has an opportunity to act on climate initiatives that would protect and preserve these systems while also benefiting industry and the economy. The governor’s budget includes proposals that will rebuild and protect Wisconsin’s forests, explore carbon opportunities for farmers, promote local food systems, and address soil and water issue.
Preventing & Preparing for Flooding
Over the last few years, flooding has cost Wisconsin communities, businesses, and families millions of dollars. More can be done to help Wisconsinites avoid costly damage from the increasing risk of flooding. The governor’s budget proposes investing more than $30 million in programs that help build resilient roads and infrastructure, restore wetlands to prevent catastrophic flooding, support farmers when their crops are damaged, as well as an innovative first-of-its-kind program to help Wisconsinites purchase flood insurance.
Preventing Costly Flooding
In many cases, the increasing threat of flooding in our communities can be prevented with proactive efforts, smart investments, and strong partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies. For every dollar invested in preventing flooding, the state as a whole will recoup seven dollars in avoided costs.
Building Resilient Communities
By investing in programs that help communities recover and rebuild following a damaging flood, we provide the state with a greater ability to effectively respond and partner with local governments. By building resilience, Wisconsin can strengthen its ability to adapt, minimize the ongoing costs from a flooding event, and better combat the burdens of a flooding event.
Clean Water for Every Wisconsinite
Every Wisconsinite should be able to trust that the water coming out of their tap is clean and safe to drink. The governor declared 2019 the Year of Clean Drinking Water, and his 2019-21 budget made good on that declaration by prioritizing programs that protect the ground, surface, and drinking water. Historically, the state has established a strong partnership with the agricultural community to employ best practices that are both economical and environmentally effective.
In addition to critical investments in water quality programs, Governor Evers, for the first time in nearly a decade, advances a suite of administrative rules to address water contaminants like PFAS and nitrates. Furthermore, the Governor convened all agencies, as well as advocates, local governments, and industry leaders to produce a State Action Plan on PFAS.
Lastly, as communities have worked to reduce the impact of lead water mains, we cannot forget that another threat to public health lurks just below the surface in the form of lead service lines. Contamination from lead service lines affects an estimated 170,000 households in the state. The Governor’s budget builds on this work and offers comprehensive proposals to ensure every Wisconsinite has access to clean water.
Conservation, Outdoor Recreation, and Sporting Heritage
During its three-decade existence, the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program has been a popular way to preserve land for future generations. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship has a demonstrated history of improving access to outdoor recreation opportunities, protecting critical habitat and environmental health, improving water quality, and building flood resilience, as well as supporting state and local economic development. The reauthorization of the Stewardship program for 10 years with $70 million in annual bonding authority, along with other critical investments in conservation and forestry, allows Wisconsin to continue on with its proud legacy of conserving our natural resources and promoting sustainable economic growth.