Evers will use the DNR’s request as a starting point as he drafts his executive budget. The governor will release that plan early next year and the Legislature’s finance committee will spend most of the spring revising it.
The DNR’s request seeks only a 0.3% overall increase in total agency funding as the department braces for the coronavirus pandemic’s economic fallout. Evers has ordered state agencies to cut a total of $320 million from their operations since the pandemic took hold in March.
The request doesn’t seek any new money to combat PFAS pollution. The Marinette region in particular has been grappling with PFAS contamination for several years originating largely from a fire-fighting equipment manufacturing plant in town. Last week the DNR warned people not to eat the livers of deer harvested in the area because they’re likely contaminated.
Rep. John Nygren, a Marinette Republican who co-chairs the finance committee, has criticized the lack of funding, issuing a statement…