State Rep. Deb Andraca
Press Release

“Forward on Climate” Bills Urge Legislative Action to Address Climate Crisis


By - Nov 15th, 2021 03:44 pm

MADISON, Wis. — Today State Representative Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) joined legislative colleagues in releasing the “Forward on Climate” package of twenty-two bills designed with input from hundreds of people across Wisconsin as part of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change.

“The climate crisis is putting our Wisconsin way of life more at risk with each passing year,” said Andraca. “From extreme weather events to noticeable changes in our seasons and shorelines, we are already coping with the effects of climate change. We can and we must invest in policies that build our communities’ resilience, create local jobs, and develop Wisconsin-centered solutions.”

Representative Andraca is a lead author of three of the bills in the climate package. These include requiring investor-owned utilities to spend 2.4 percent of their annual operating revenues – double what is currently required – to fund the Focus on Energy program (LRB 3437), creating a Shoreline Erosion Control Revolving Loan Program (LRB 0022), and a bill to allow the state superintendent of public instruction to adopt model academic standards related to climate change (LRB 4204).

The investment in Focus on Energy would expand the highly-successful program to help people and businesses across the state install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, which in turn help create jobs, upgrade local infrastructure and improve our environment. Wisconsin energy use reduction goals are substantially below those in other states, including Illinois, Minnesota and Colorado. With energy costs on the rise, investments in energy efficiency measures will reduce energy bills and can help low-income households overcome the initial investment barrier to cost-saving projects such as weatherization.

“The most cost-effective way to meet the energy needs of tomorrow is to avoid the need to build new polluting power plants today,” said Andraca. “Focus on Energy provides more than $4 in benefit for every dollar spent. There is no better place to start fighting climate change than by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

The Shoreline Erosion Control proposal is a $5 million revolving loan program that would help homeowners and municipalities fund projects to protect vulnerable coastal properties from catastrophic storm damage. The proposal was included in Governor Evers’ budget, but was removed by Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee.

“Many homeowners and communities along Lake Michigan are being challenged by major storms and less predictable lake levels,” said Andraca. “With smart investments and the right incentives, we can build more resilient communities that can better withstand our changing climate and its effects on our coastline.”

The proposal to adopt model academic standards related to climate change includes grants that would provide educators with the necessary resources to advance climate change education across the state.

“As a parent and a teacher, I know that young people are intensely interested in climate change,” said Andraca. “Our schools should have science-based model academic standards related to climate change just as we do for math and reading. Climate change is an issue that falls disproportionately on our young people to handle, so we need to ensure we are equipping the next generation with the knowledge to deal with the climate crisis.”

Following today’s media event, there will be a virtual rally on Tuesday in support of the Forward on Climate bill package with Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes:

Virtual “Forward on Climate” Rally
Tuesday, November 16 at 7:30pm
Register in advance for this meeting:

Mentioned in This Press Release


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