Madison, Wis. — This week, Wisconsin leaders — including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, Sheboygan Mayor Ryan Sorenson, and Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian — endorsed President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and called on Congress to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and Build Back Better Act.
As a whole, the Build Back Better agenda will invest in Wisconsin’s child care, grow the economy, and lower costs for working families. A key pillar of the Build Back Better agenda is ensuring equitable access to clean drinking water and eradicating lead pipes — which has been a long-standing priority of Wisconsin Democrats and Gov. Tony Evers. Gov. Evers proposed $40 million for lead line replacement this year, but Republicans cut the funding from the final state budget.
Read about how Wisconsin leaders are endorsing President Biden’s agenda here:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Congress should act to fund removal of aging lead water pipes in Wisconsin and elsewhere
- “The State of Wisconsin has more than 240,000 lead lines that are in need of replacement. As members of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, an organization of 135 mayors seeking to advance solutions to water equity challenges facing Great Lakes cities, we are asking Congress to act on the bipartisan infrastructure bill. We also request that members of Congress support the additional lead line removal funding now included in the House reconciliation bill.
- “The current infrastructure legislation does include $15 billion for replacing lead service lines. While a good start, fully addressing this public health challenge is estimated to cost $45 billion — the amount requested in President Biden’s original infrastructure proposal. That’s why we support both the infrastructure bill and the current reconciliation package in the House of Representatives, which includes the additional $30 billion needed to remove all lead water lines nationally.
- “Water is a key element of public health and a thriving economy. Unfortunately, across Wisconsin, communities are struggling due to the costs of old and sub-standard water infrastructure, and low-income and communities of color are suffering the most. Historical patterns that generated inequality have also fostered inequalities in water services.”
- “Environmental advocates and union representatives teamed up Tuesday to urge passage of both parts of the Biden administration’s infrastructure initiative in order to address a wide range of water quality problems in the state.
- “‘Too many Wisconsin families cannot rely on access to clean drinking water,’ said Richard Diaz, an organizer for the Blue-Green Alliance, which sponsored a news conference on Zoom Tuesday with the National Wildlife Federation. The Blue-Green Alliance is an advocacy partnership between the environmental movement and organized labor.
- “Participants in the virtual news conference emphasized the need to remove lead water service pipes in urban communities, contamination from factory farms in rural wells and the rapidly spreading discoveries of water supplies throughout the state poisoned by PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ — all of which are included in the legislation. And they pointed to those projects as opportunities to create highly skilled, good-paying jobs.”