Former state representative Spencer Black notes in an opinion piece in The Cap Times that the state budget proposed by Governor Tony Evers provides strong support for environmental measures to protect water quality, improve our state parks, and preserve our remaining natural areas. However, the Republican-controlled legislature appears likely to reject many of these proposals in the budget.
Gov. Evers’ budget sets aside funds for conservation and includes the removal of the “cloak of anonymity” that currently allows the state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to delay project funding from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Before the legislature votes on the budget, Black suggests they look at a recent statewide poll that shows overwhelming public support for conservation measures.
The state budget sets aside money for education, health care, and government services, but one of the biggest impacts of this budget will be on our environment. This also happens to be an area of sharp disagreement between Democrats and Republicans.
Black thinks it is likely that the state Supreme Court’s new Democratic-leaning majority will overturn the gerrymandering that has assured Republicans of reelection.
Black says, “But with fair maps, they’ll actually have to face the voters, and Wisconsin voters want our natural resources protected.”
Featured image by Mark Kaletka, 2015.