Contact: Jerel Ballard, 608-266-9600
MADISON – Public Service Commission Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq today issued the statement below regarding Governor Tony Evers’ 2021-2023 State Biennial Budget Address:
“I was thrilled to hear more about Governor Evers’ continued commitment to connecting all Wisconsinites to high-speed broadband internet. In ‘the year of broadband,’ the Governor’s budget proposal would invest $200 million for broadband initiatives that would directly impact those who need it most, at a time when it’s needed most.
Broadband access is not a partisan issue, and I look forward to working with our state legislature to pass a budget that will break down barriers to broadband access in our state. By diminishing the digital divide, it will allow all in our state to realize the benefits of broadband and enable Wisconsin to reach its full potential. In addition to the broadband initiatives, the budget seeks an increase in the annual contribution to Focus on Energy, recently named the most cost-effective energy efficiency program in the country. The increased funding will allow Focus to develop new, targeted programs for low to moderate-income families as well as more innovative efficiency measures.
The budget also includes a provision for the creation of a voluntary innovative technology program for investor-owned utilities, increase the maximum penalties for failures to operate gas pipelines safely, and create a water affordability assistance program. Over the past two years, I have heard from utilities and stakeholders across the state about the need to encourage innovation, emphasize energy efficiency and look into the issue of water affordability. The provisions put forth in the biennial budget are critical pieces to the continued regulation of safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally-responsible utility services.”