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Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
Friday, 04 June 2021 09:49

/jfcphotoOn Tuesday, June 2, 2021, JFC took action on budget items for the Departments of Natural Resources, Workforce Development, Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protections and Safety and Professional Services.


MADISON – The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) continued to work through the budget process in an executive session on Tuesday, June 2, 2021. JFC took action on budget items for the Departments of Natural Resources, Workforce Development, Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protections and Safety and Professional Services. The Republican funding choices made on Tuesday failed to meet the needs of Wisconsin farmers, rural communities, and workers. In an effort to help keep Wisconsin citizens more informed, Democratic members on the committee provided the following recap of what happened in the budget hearing and how that impacts Wisconsin communities:

Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP)

Democrats on the committee offered Motion #64 which included $10 million for Food Security and Food Waste Reduction to ensure the food that we grow in Wisconsin ends up on the table and not in the landfill. The motion also included funding for the Meat Processor Grant ($2 million) and Dairy Promotion & Processor Grants ($2 million). The proposal included $2.16 million for improving the exports of Wisconsin Agricultural Products, $400,000 for the Something Special from Wisconsin program and $200,000 for Farmer Mental Health Assistance program. An additional motion to legalize medicinal marijuana was rejected. The motion failed on party lines 4-12.

Republicans offered their own omnibus motion, Motion #68, which included significantly less for Meat Processor Grants ($400,000) and Dairy Processor Grants ($400,000) and removed the Dairy Promotion Program. The motion also provided less for Farmers Mental Health Assistance program ($100,000) and the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports ($1.16 million). The motion passed 12-4.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) / Environmental Improvement Fund (EIF)

The DNR motion offered by Democrats, Motion #70, which was based on the Governor’s budget proposal would provide an increase to equip DNR wardens with a radio upgrade, body-worn cameras and Narcan. The motion would provide $1 million for Deer Carcass Disposal Grants to help stop the spread of CWD and $540,000 for a program to manage invasive species. Motion #70 would provide funding to ATV, UTV and Snowmobile to maintain and improve trails. The motion failed 4-11.

The other Democratic motion to EIF, Motion #69, proposed $40 million to address lead remediation in Wisconsin. The motion would create a program that authorizes DNR to award principal forgiveness for up to 50% of the cost of private lead service line replacement projects. Motion failed 4-12.

Republicans offered an omnibus motion including DNR and EIF. Motion #71 would not fund either the Deer Carcass Grant or invasive species grant. This motion does not include any lead lateral remediation funding. Passed 12-4.

 
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