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Do you know what your legislators are doing? Here are some of the most recent bills that the Wisconsin legislature is trying to pass that will erode your property rights.



Special interest winners and losers in the 2016 legislative session

Legislation billed as a "property rights package" boosted by builders prohibits counties from banning development or restricting the sale or transfer of a title to any interest in real property. It also eases restrictions on building and permitting on structures in a shore land setback area. The full list of changes in the property rights bill is here.  Read the article



More information:

Legislative Republicans Turn their Backs on Wisconsin’s Lakes and Wetlands, 02/16

Scott Walker signs 46 bills

Rewriting the rules - Critics charge the Legislature is eroding protections of the state’s water resources
Wisconsin Legislature recently introduced proposals



Bills from the last legislative session:

AB554 / SB432: Privatizing Wisconsin's Water

AB582 / SB464: Developer Grab Bag

AB600 / SB459: Polluter Grab Bag

SB 477 & AB 603: Further Meddling in Shoreland Zoning

SB 434: Undercutting Natural Resource Protections in State Forests




Why AB874 (SB239) is a terrible bill for groundwater, surface water, and public health:

1) It grants "forever permits" to Wisconsin's 3,000 existing high-capacity wells.

Water resources are already hurting due to over-pumping from high-capacity wells, but this bill removes DNR's ability to address problem wells through permitting.

Existing wells can be infinitely replaced, relocated, and reconstructed without any permits or DNR oversight, even if they wouldn't be approved today because they would harm water resources.

Reconstructed wells don't need to comply with present-day standards: only the standards that were in place when the well was originally approved, which could be decades ago!

DNR will have no up-front oversight to make sure relocated or reconstructed wells are constructed safely, won't make people sick, and won't contaminate groundwater.

Grandfathering in existing wells grandfathers the problems those wells are now causing!

2) It makes water Wisconsin's new "cash crop"

The bill allows high-capacity well approvals to automatically be transferred with the land when sold.

Private parties could buy land just for the ability to pump water and appropriate waters of the state. Commodification of water would be a major shift in Wisconsin law!

3) Problem wells could only be fixed through long, costly "enforcement" hearings.

Bill proponents say the DNR can still use existing enforcement procedures to address problem wells--but DNR has never used this authority.

Having forced a recent hearing through legal action, we can personally attest to the difficult, costly, and uncertain nature of this process.

It is far more prudent to address problems up front, rather than waiting for water to be ruined and holding a hearing later!



Be sure to contact your Senator about your opposition to the legislation!


Most likely GOP to Oppose measure

Cowles, Robert (R – Green Bay)

(Seen as moderate Senator on conservation issues)

(608) 266-0484 (Office)

(800) 334-1465 (Toll Free)

(920) 448-5092 (District)

Harsdorf, Sheila (R – River Falls)

(Majority Caucus Chair, her district is attuned to water quality issues)

(608) 266-7745 (Office)

Olsen, Luther (R – Ripon)

(Seen as moderate Senator on some issues)

(608) 266-0751 (Office)


Somewhat likely GOP to Oppose measure

Marklein, Howard (R – Spring Green)

(Senator whose district is 50/50 and attuned to water and land issues)

(608) 266-0703 (Office)

Moulton, Terry (R – Chippewa Falls)

(Senator known for moderate conservation issue support)

(608) 266-7511 (Office)

(888) 437-9436 (District)

Petrowski, Jerry (R – Marathon)

(Senator known for moderate conservation issue support)

(608) 266-2502 (Office)


GOP Senators that Influence scheduling of AB 554

Darling, Alberta (R – River Hills)

(Milwaukee area Senator who is Co-Chair of powerful finance committee, proximity to advocates)

(608) 266-5830 (Office)

Fitzgerald, Scott (R – Juneau)

(Majority Leader who ultimately decides if bill is scheduled)

(608) 266-5660 (Office)





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