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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

 12:44 PM 

Assembly Dems slam water bill, Republican actions

Assembly Dems, speaking before the floor period today, hit Republicans from multiple angles, focusing on the agenda today as well as GOP actions during past sessions.

AB 600 represented one focus of Dem contempt. Rep. Adam Jarchow's bill, which is on the agenda today, would overhaul portions of the state’s laws governing bodies of water.

In particular, Dems focused on a provision in the Balsam Lake Republican's bill that would require the DNR issue general permits, rather than more restrictive individual permits, to
allow the removal of 30 cubic yards of material from the bed of an inland lake adjacent to an
owner's property. A sub amendment to the bill includes conditions the Department of Natural Resources must place on those permits.

Still, Rep. Chris Danou said the bill would lead to the destruction of near-shore habitats. The Trempealeau Dem said Republicans "pose for holy pictures" showing how supportive they are of Wisconsin's outdoor traditions and then pass a bill that threatens the source of those activities.

"Anybody who supports AB 600 and claims to be a sportsman," Danou said, "is not a sportsman."

Assembly Dem leaders also took swings at the GOP-led Legislature for passing unfunded mandates and eroding local control. Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, cited a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo Dems requested that showed more than 100 ways Republicans have eliminated local control and increased the number of unfunded mandates on local communities.

Those examples ranged from three-tiered beer laws to changes to the state's prevailing wage laws.

"Whatever it takes to consolidate power at the top," Shankland said.

See the memo here.


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