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Wisconsin’s Republican Party-led Senate seeks to override Governor Evers’ veto of PFAS bill | WTAQ News Talk | 97.5 FM · 1360 AM

State Senator Eric Wimberger speaks during a press conference at the Brown County Courthouse on Monday, May 13, 2024. PC: Fox 11 Online

(WTAQ-WLUK) – The PFAS relief issue in the state continues to gain momentum.

The Wisconsin state Senate will meet Tuesday to potentially override dozens of vetoes from Governor Tony Evers.

This includes Senate Bill 312, a Republican-drafted plan that would have created grants for municipalities to combat PFAS contamination.

“Current law treats innocent landowners the same as the point source polluter or manufacturer,” Sen. Eric Wimberger (R-Green Bay) said Monday at the Brown County Courthouse, one of several locations where state Republicans announced the override effort.

Before Monday’s announcement, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers remained critical of the state’s Joint Finance Commission, urging them to release the money for infection relief.

“What we have now is a joint finance committee that is raising money for PFAS and making sure we have clean water,” Evers said Monday in Gillett, where he continued his “Pothole Patrol” tour.

Last week, Evers called a second special meeting for the commission to discuss the issue of PFAS funds.

As with the first attempt, no action was taken.

On Monday, Evers announced he is suing the state Legislature over what he says is their refusal to release funds such as PFAS contamination relief.

“We hate to do this, but if the legislature won’t cooperate with the bills they pass, we have to do something,” Evers said.

“If we were to simply award a lump sum of money without any specific direction, it could be maneuvered in ways that the legislature may not have intended,” Wimberger said.

PFAS are chemicals that have been linked to cancers and also have negative effects on the liver and heart. Numerous areas in the state have suffered from PFAS contamination, such as the city of Peshtigo and the city of Marinette.

“I implore the Wisconsin Legislature to override the Governor’s veto so that SB 312 can be enacted, which will in turn provide safeguards for the spending of the $125 million in appropriated taxpayer dollars,” said Speaker Jennifer Friday of the municipality. Peshtigo, Monday at the Brown County Courthouse.

The legislature can override a veto by the governor with a two-thirds majority vote. Any override would also have to be approved by the state Assembly.