- Alexander Malchow
Hope, Unity, and Faith, Wisconsin’s 2023-2024 Legislative Overview
On January 3, 2023, a new two-year legislative session kicked off with the inauguration of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and other constitutional officers. After the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda ceremony, legislature members were sworn in, with Republicans commanding control of both chambers.
With the 2023-2024 Wisconsin Legislative Session comes new hope for a unified legislature that will tackle critical policies that will shape the future of Wisconsin for generations. With a focus on past trends and current challenges, the state's future is geared toward what Gov. Evers described in his inaugural address:
"Given the opportunity to retreat into division and doubt, Wisconsin chose a future of unity and faith. Given the opportunity to further enable cynicism and hate, Wisconsinites chose kindness, and they chose hope instead.” – Governor Tony Evers
In choosing hope, Wisconsinites are unified for their elected officials to work together to craft legislation the entire state can get behind. Unity between the parties is necessary if progress is to be made in protecting and preserving our environment.
In an effort to protect and preserve our environment, several bills relating to environmental policy are expected to be submitted for further discussion and voting—and we at the Faith in Place Action Fund are currently keeping an eye on the following bills:
Senate Bill 46
Under current law, property owners are required to clean hazardous substances and pollution on their property. SB 46 would remove this requirement and allow pollution to go unchecked and uncleaned–making this a bill we’re strongly opposing.
Senate Bill 52
SB 52, a bill that seeks to prevent salt pollution, would also create a voluntary deicer certification program that trains commercial applicators in best management practices for snow and ice removal—limiting their liability for potential damages.
Senate Bill 58
Lastly, SB 58 would support Wisconsinites facing nitrate contamination by making minor but necessary improvements to eligibility requirements under the state’s Well Compensation Grant Program. These changes will allow more people to access funds that protect their healthy water from the dangers of nitrate contamination.
While not an exhaustive list, more information on these bills are available on our website and will continue to be updated throughout the legislative session.
As people of faith and spirituality, we need you to help advocate for legislation, regulations and government programs that care for our environment and our communities.
We need your help returning Wisconsin to its roots as a national conservation leader. This reputation was built on a legacy created by icons in the conservation movement and an innovative and progressive approach to new policies.
We must continue to address complex environmental challenges, make sustained investments in conservation and environmental programs and establish laws, policies and norms that protect natural resource programs from undue political influence while encouraging robust public engagement.
Your advocacy is necessary, and we are seeking volunteers to work with Faith in Place Action Fund’s Climate Action Campaign in Wisconsin. Please help us inspire a grassroots network throughout the state to urge our elected officials to help build healthier communities!
Contact Alexander Malchow, Wisconsin Policy Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional ways to get involved in climate action! And be sure to check back for an updated blog post as the legislative session progresses.