LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Republicans plan to say that financial relief for PFAS contaminated drinking water should come from the federal government rather than state dollars.
Water quality did not come up during the first Joint Finance Committee executive session but Wisconsin's 50th Assembly District Representative Tony Kurtz said they'll discuss it next week and later in June.
"We're all committed to clean water we just obviously might have different ways to get there," (R) Rep. Kurtz said. "Let's conserve the resources we have and if this federal money is there we can utilize it. I think that makes sense."
Rep. Kurtz is dealing with PFAS contamination in his district at Volk Field along with several other Wisconsin communities.
"So what I try to tell my colleagues it may not affect your community right now but it's going to affect us in the future," Rep. Kurtz said. "So I know as a legislature we're taking this seriously, looking at all of the different options we have."
Governor Tony Evers said research, relief and PFAS specific positions should come from the state budget.
"More than 113 million dollars to address PFAS which I know in the La Crosse area is a huge deal," (D) Gov. Evers said in Tomah on Wednesday. "We'll add ladders and to ensure clean drinking water across our state."
Rep. Kurtz said Gov. Evers should focus more on the $2.5 billion funding expected from the Federal American Recovery Plan.
"That's something that's unfortunately that's kind of getting missed in the shuffle is those funds are actually available not only during this budget cycle that will run through two years but also 18 months into the next budget cycle so that's something that the governor has full discretion on," Rep. Kurtz said.
He also said Republicans are not "cutting" any PFAS funding, but rather re-evaluating the changes Gov. Evers made from his first biennial budget announcement.