For Immediate Release
Contact: Karen Hickey, 414-573-7579, [email protected]
Lead lateral replacement statewide issue
April 25, 2019 – Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and Steve Breitlow, Business Manager of Plumbers Union Local 75, released the following statement calling on the Joint Finance Committee and the state legislature to adopt water initiatives outlined in Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget. The statement follows a press conference held April 24 at the Plumbers Local 75 Union Hall with Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman, Senator Lena Taylor, Business Manager of Plumber Local 75 Steve Breitlow, Wisconsin plumbers and Wisconsin contractors.
“Gov. Evers’ Budget commits to safe and clean drinking water for Wisconsinites by investing $40 million in the safe drinking water loan program for the replacement of lead service lines,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO. “It is estimated that in Wisconsin there are 170,000 lead service lines. It is past time to tackle this issue head on. The Governors needed investment will assist local governments that are trying to replace lead pipes, which can carry contaminated water to our families. The Joint Finance Committee and the state legislature should immediately adopt the clean water initiative outlined in the budget. Wisconsin families deserve safe drinking water. This is a workforce development opportunity where we train and put people to work to benefit public health and safety in almost every neighborhood across the state. Much of the work replacing lead laterals is done by skilled union trades men and women. This is win-win in terms of job creation, business growth, and doing the right thing by Wisconsin families.”
“The men and women of the skilled trades stand ready to get to work ensuring Wisconsin families have safe drinking water,” said Steve Breitlow, Business Manager of Plumbers Union Local 75. “The Governor is right to fund this issue. We are fortunate to have an abundance of water in our state; it is our obligation to deliver it to consumers safely. Our communities deserve the necessary funds to fix this issue. It’s time to pass the water initiative proposals outlined in Gov. Evers’ budget and get to work replacing lead laterals all across the state of Wisconsin.”