Government Relations Coordinator Chris Kunkle this week were successful in securing an additional $1.8 million of state aid for county land conservation departments in the 2013-15 state biennial budget.
In his initial budget proposal, Governor Scott Walker had recommended a significant reduction in funding for county land conservation departments, but the CWPB Government Relations team successfully lobbied the state legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee to reverse this cut. The Committee approved the additional funding on a 14-2 bipartisan vote as an amendment to the Governor’s proposed 2013-15 state budget bill. The provision was approved by the full legislature in June and signed into law by Governor Walker as 2013 Wisconsin Act 20, effective July 1, 2013.
All 72 Wisconsin counties have county land conservation experts who work with farmers and landowners to secure state and federal cost-share assistance to implement land and water conservation measures. State aid for this valuable work has steadily declined in recent years.
Over the past three decades, the CWPB Government Relations team has successfully employed its strategy of grassroots campaigning, alliance-building, and working closely with legislative leaders and other key stakeholders to promote the interests of its clients in the State Capitol.