Budget Bill Listening Sessions: Will the Clean Energy Proposals Survive? Your Legislator is the Key!

Budget Bill Listening Sessions: Will the Clean Energy Proposals Survive? Your Legislator is the Key!

RENEW Wisconsin supports the 28 clean energy provisions that Governor Evers included in his proposed 2021-23 Budget Bill. Among them are recommendations to expand Focus on Energy, invest in the clean energy workforce, and advance Wisconsin’s electric vehicle infrastructure.

The Budget Bill is now in the hands of the state legislature, and the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has announced four listening sessions, three in-person and one virtual, to learn about your Budget priorities.

The JFC public hearings all begin at 10:00 a.m. and will be held at these locations:

  • Friday, April 9, 2021, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
  • Wednesday, April 21, 2021, The Hodag Dome, Rhinelander, WI
  • Thursday, April 22, 2021, UW-Stout, Menomonie, WI
  • Wednesday, April 28, 2021, Virtual

Due to the expected crowd size, speakers (virtual and in-person) will be given just two minutes to speak. If you would like to submit more in-depth comments, the committee has created a web portal for citizens to provide input. The JFC has also developed a dedicated email address for comments: budget.comments@legis.wisconsin.gov.

While the JFC process is important, it does have its limitations. The most effective thing you can do to support the clean energy Budget proposals is to speak directly with your state legislators, especially if they are a member of the Joint Finance Committee or in the Senate or Assembly legislative leadership. You can contact them one-on-one or see if they are holding in-district or virtual listening sessions for their constituents. To find the contact information for your legislators, you can use the digital Legislative District Map.

Every legislator has a vote and can influence what is included in the final Budget package. Make your legislators understand that clean energy issues are a priority for you!

If you have any questions or find out that your legislators are especially supportive or opposed to the clean energy proposals, please tell Jim Boullion, RENEW Wisconsin’s Director of Government Affairs, jim@renewwisconsin.org.

Governor Evers Climate Change Task Force – Now is Your Chance for Input!

Governor Evers Climate Change Task Force – Now is Your Chance for Input!

In October of 2019, Governor Tony Evers announced the formation of the Wisconsin Climate Change Task Force. Led by Lt. Governor Barnes, this bi-partisan group represents lawmakers, utilities, agriculture, environmental groups, health officials, and tribes with a goal of developing strategies to help Wisconsin reduce the effects of climate change and reach 100% carbon free electricity generation by 2050.

The Climate Change Task Force has been collecting ideas from various organizations and has worked hard to identify dozens of items that could be implemented. The next step is to hear from Wisconsin residents. The Governor, Lt. Governor, and Climate Change Task Force need your input and support to find the best path forward.

RENEW has identified three key issues that we feel would have the greatest impact and best chances for success. Join this important effort by signing your name in support of these initiatives!

Third Party Financing
Wisconsin should affirm the legality of third party financed distributed energy resources in order to provide equitable access to renewable energy benefits.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
Wisconsin should develop a comprehensive plan for transportation electrification.

Expand Focus on Energy
Wisconsin should facilitate the installation of more renewable energy and energy efficiency measures by expanding the Focus on Energy program.  

If you have other ideas and would like to contribute more to the Climate Change Task Force, consider taking the following actions:

Provide written comments​ to the Task Force. Comments must be submitted by July 15th.

Provide live comments at the end of one of the remaining Task Force Subcommittee meetings

Provide live comments​ during the Virtual Public Listening Sessions, which will be held on June 23, June 27, July 7, July 9 and July 15. 

In August, the Task Force will review all of the comments they receive, and make their recommendations for the final report in September. The report is scheduled to be released on October 31, 2020.

If you have any questions, need more information, or would like help preparing for live comments, please contact Jim Boullion, RENEW’s Director of Government Affairs at jim@renewwisconsin.org or call at (608) 695-7004. 

RENEW Wisconsin is a proud partner of Rise Up Midwest, a coalition effort led by MREA promoting renewable energy investment and grid modernization. Rise Up Midwest supports this petition and has highlighted their own policy priorities and programs to advance their mission.