The Latest: Budget panel OKs borrowing for water projects

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the Legislature’s finance committee’s deliberations on the 2019-21 state budget (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee has overwhelmingly approved Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to authorize more borrowing for clean water projects.

Evers’ state budget calls for increasing the clean water program’s borrowing authority by $13.5 million and the safe drinking water loan program’s borrowing authority by $3.6 million over the biennium.

The clean water fund program provides low-interest loans to municipalities for planning, building or replacing wastewater treatment facility; reducing nonpoint pollution; or reducing storm water runoff.

The safe drinking water program provides financial assistance to municipalities for designing, building or modifying public water systems.

The Joint Finance Committee took up the proposal Tuesday. Democrats on the panel took the opportunity to complain that Republicans erased another Evers’ proposal last week to authorize $40 million in bonding to replace lead pipes around the state.

In the end the committee approved the clean water borrowing 14-0.

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11:20 a.m.

The Legislature’s budget committee has killed Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to spend $1 million in the next state budget to educate hard-to-reach residents about the 2020 census.

Evers’ administration says the money would fund outreach efforts to about 500,000 hard-to-reach residents, which the U.S. Census Bureau describes as residents who are hard to contact or hard to persuade to participate.

The $1 million would fund a committee that would work to educate communities about the census. Methods would include placing kiosks in schools and libraries as well as working with volunteers in targeted neighborhoods.

Nine other states, including Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan, have authorized spending for similar outreach efforts.

Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee didn’t vote Tuesday on whether to include the money in the budget. That means the proposal is dead.

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8:15 a.m.

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee is set to consider Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal to authorize more borrowing for clean water projects.

Evers wants to increase the clean water program’s borrowing authority by $13.5 million and the safe drinking water loan program’s borrowing authority by $3.6 million over the biennium.

The clean water fund program provides low-interest loans to municipalities for planning, building or replacing wastewater treatment facility; reducing nonpoint pollution; or reducing storm water runoff. The program is currently authorized to borrow $3.2 billion.

The safe drinking water program provides financial assistance to municipalities for designing, building or modifying public water systems. It’s currently authorized to borrow $71.4 million.

The Joint Finance Committee is scheduled consider the proposal Tuesday. Republicans who control the panel could adopt, modify or scrap the proposal.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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