Mt. Horeb Area Dane County Supervisor Pat Downing, submitted the following Resolution to the Dane County Board. It admonishes SB-249, which if enacted would surverly limit local authority to regulate non-metalic mining. Thanks Pat!
OPPOSING LIMITATIONS TO LOCAL CONTROL REGARDING NONMETALLIC MINING,
AIR AND WATER QUALITY, AND HIGHWAY DAMAGE AND USE CONTRACTS
The expansion of industrial sand mining and processing in western Wisconsin raises significant local public health, economic, environmental, and quality of life issues. These are issues that require vigilance and action on the part of local governments, yet a bill pending in the Wisconsin Legislature would limit local control in a number of ways.
Wisconsin Senate Bill 349 has been introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature to restrict local governmental authority to regulate nonmetallic mining and to limit certain governmental powers. This bill prohibits local governmental units from 1) imposing restrictions related to water or air quality and water quantity; 2) requiring monitoring of water or air quality and water quantity; 3) establishing or enforcing a standard of air or water quality; or 4) issuing permits related to water or air quality and water quantity.
Senate Bill 349 also removes the power of a county to administer an air pollution control program with requirements that are consistent with or stricter than those in relevant state law.
The bill prohibits a county from enacting or enforcing a nonmetallic mining reclamation ordinance that requires an operator to obtain a permit other than a reclamation permit, includes a standard of air or water quality, or is more restrictive than Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources standards.
Highway use is also addressed in this bill. SB 349 prohibits counties from imposing any fee or other charge on a highway user for damage to highways caused by the highway user unless the county has entered into a contract with a highway user to reimburse the municipality or county for the cost of repairs to a highway that meets certain specific requirements, including a requirement that the proportion of damages caused specifically by the highway user must be determined by an engineer selected by the user and the county and paid equally by the user and the county.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Dane County Board of Supervisors supports local control of nonmetallic mining and opposes SB-349 and any state legislation that would preempt the ability of towns and counties to craft their own regulations tailored to their individual circumstances.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to Governor Walker, Wisconsin DNR Secretary Stepp, and the Dane County legislative delegation.
Mt. Horeb Area Assembly Rep. Sondy Pope, with constituents Cindy Johnson and Tim White at the daily sing along. Photo by and thanks to Lisa Wells.
"Our often absent Governor is again out of the state he was elected to serve as he flits from fundraiser to fundraiser trying to build the case for his own presidential aspirations. Meanwhile back home he has left his Capitol Police Chief, David Erwin, with a questionably hefty pay increase and orders to silence the voices of the last vestiges of his open opposition, the Solidarity Singers. The Republican Legislators continue to move his radical agenda forward as they avoid hearings on meaningful redistricting legislation, push for even more voter suppression, fail to create much-needed family sustaining jobs, continue their war on women, deny healthcare, and divert education funds to private schools. Despite the grim circumstances, I look forward to an opportunity to bring change to Wisconsin in the next election. We must continue to move forward and the ballot is the vehicle of change. Keep talking, keep singing, and let's be the change we want in Wisconsin."
(MADISON) Representative Sondy Pope (D-Cross Plains) and Representative Fred Clark (D-Sauk City) released the following statement regarding the rumored budget deal struck by Republican legislative leaders and Governor Walker for Wisconsin’s schools.
“Expanding the unaccountable private school voucher program statewide is an ideologically driven decision that does not help improve the educational outcomes of Wisconsin students,” said Rep. Pope. “As recent peer-reviewed evidence has demonstrated (link), the ‘gold-standard’ studies we have relied upon to make decisions about the voucher program do not even begin to tell the whole story. If we were truly interested in improving student outcomes and helping drive achievement, we would be closing the failing schools already participating in the Milwaukee and Racine voucher programs.”
“It’s sad to think that for the last four months, while the fourth graders have been visiting the capitol to learn about open government and our citizen legislature, well-paid lobbyists like former speakers John Gard and Jeff Fitzgerald were cutting deals behind closed doors to grease the skids for private, for-profit schools,” Rep. Clark said. “How are Republican legislators going to go back to their districts and explain to their voters that they caved to special interests and private schools instead of increasing support for their community schools?”
“We have the opportunity to begin to restore the $1.6 billion that was taken from our public schools during the last budget,” continued Rep. Pope. “This decision is about priorities and it is clear that the Republican leadership would rather continue to grow the subsidy the state provides to private schools than the help the public schools that educate all of our children.”
“This is no deal for Public schools,” said Rep. Clark. “This is the continuation of a downward spiral for public education that is destroying the fabric of Wisconsin communities. And it is especially tragic because it's so reckless, and completely avoidable. Our kids deserve better than to have their own schools essentially sold off to the highest bidders.”
Rep. Sondy Pope