Rep. Gary Hebl (D-Sun Prairie) and Sen. Mark Miller (D-Monona) have introduced legislation that would undo changes in the 2015-17 biennial state budget that prevent Dane County from setting its own standards for water quality management.

Assembly Bill 442 eliminates a budget provision that prohibits Dane County – and only Dane County – from establishing water quality standards that meet the needs of Dane County communities, developers and residents. The budget provision was added through a last-minute budget motion that did not receive a public hearing. It was introduced by a Republican legislator who does not represent Dane County.

The Sun Prairie City Council in August passed a resolution to urge Hebl and Miller to introduce the legislation.

“Dane County should be held up as a model of success for other communities around Wisconsin to follow,” Hebl said. “Instead, the current legislative majority continues to vilify Dane County and its municipalities while hamstringing the county’s ability to operate by diminishing local control.”

The two legislators deemed the budget provision unnecessary and punitive.

“The Republican majority continues its efforts to reduce local control for Dane County and its municipalities,” Miller said. “Our bill would restore local control to Dane County, and it sends a clear message that we are unwilling to let Republican overreach go unchallenged.”

Hebl and Miller circulated the bill to all Dane County legislators for cosponsorship. Every Democratic legislator from Dane County has cosponsored the legislation.

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