Sen. Bewley: Weekly Democratic radio address: Despite flooding risks, GOP rolls back wetland protections

Contact: Sen. Janet Bewley (D – Ashland) (608)266-3510

MADISON, WI – Senator Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here:

A written transcript of the address is below:

“Hello, this is State Senator Janet Bewley

“As I’m recording this, 12 Wisconsin counties are under flood warnings.  In the middle of February.

“It’s been 16 months since deadly floods caused enormous damage across Northwestern Wisconsin.   We spent months detouring around washed out roads as crews did heroic work helping our communities recover and start rebuilding.  It will be years before we’re back to where we started.

“That’s why I was so disappointed to see my republican colleagues vote for a bill yesterday that is almost guaranteed to make things worse.    Assembly Bill 547 will make it substantially easier to replace wetlands with paved surfaces all across Wisconsin.  We saw what that did in Houston, why would we want to replicate it here in Wisconsin?  Wetlands not only provide critical protections for our water by filtering out pollution, they also protect against flooding. 

“I understand the need to update laws to make sure that we aren’t needlessly thwarting economic opportunity, but we shouldn’t go too far.  We need to ensure that any changes we make to wetland protection don’t result in increased flooding.  It’s not just a question of having to spend more time with our shop-vacs in our basements, it’s a question of where are we going to find the resources to rebuild whole communities that have been devastated by flooding.”