Assembly Approves Rollback of Wetlands Protection
Bill backed by WMC, Kochs, could destroy 1 million acres of wetlands.
A controversial Republican bill that would loosen state protections and allow development of up to one million acres of Wisconsin wetlands was approved by the state Assembly.
The measure, Assembly Bill 547, approved the bill 58-39 with four Republicans voting against the measure with Democrats. The Republicans are Joel Kitchens, of Sturgeon Bay, Todd Novak, of Dodgeville, Kevin Petersen, of Waupaca, and Travis Tranel, of Cuba City. The bill now goes to the Senate, which GOP lawmakers also control.
The proposal is backed by a host of powerful business, agriculture, construction, and real estate interests, including Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state largest business group, and the Koch-backedAmericans for Prosperity. WMC and Americans for Prosperity spend millions of dollars to elect Republican legislative and statewide candidates.
Under the measure, wetlands of an acre or less in or near urban areas would be exempted in most cases from state permits for construction projects. Landowners who fill these areas would not be required to create wetlands elsewhere. In addition, wetlands that are three acres or less and located in rural areas would also be exempt from state permits, but the landowners would be required create new wetlands elsewhere if they fill 1.5 acres or more.
WMC secretly raised and spent an estimated $18.6 million since January 2010 on outside electioneering activities to support Republican and conservative legislative and statewide candidates.
WMC also represents more than a dozen special interests, including business, real estate, and construction, which contributed $16.7 million since January 2011 to current Republican legislators.
Americans for Prosperity, a rightwing electioneering group created by billionaire conservatives David and Charles Koch, has spent $5.7 million in Wisconsin since January 2010 to elect Republican and conservative candidates in legislative and statewide elections.
- Campaign Cash: Assembly Approves Rollback of Wetlands Protection - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Feb 19th, 2018
- Representative Spreitzer Votes Against Wetlands Rollback - State Rep. Mark Spreitzer - Feb 16th, 2018
- AB 547: Wisconsin Goes from Winner to Wasteland in Conservation - State Rep. Jimmy Anderson - Feb 15th, 2018
- Republicans Open the Flood Gates - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Dec 21st, 2017
- Op Ed: Wetlands Destruction Bill Targets Water, Wildlife - State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff - Dec 19th, 2017
- Campaign Cash: Bill Would Let Utilities Destroy Wetlands - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Nov 8th, 2017
- Campaign Cash: Hunters, Wildlife Groups Oppose Wetlands Bill - Matt Rothschild - Oct 19th, 2017
- Campaign Cash: One Million Acres of Wetlands Endangered - Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Oct 3rd, 2017
Read more about SB 600 / AB 547 here