Gov. Evers strikes $100K payment to private deer farm research from budget

Gov. Tony Evers signed his first state budget on Wednesday, July 3.

The Legislature and Joint Finance Committee (JFC) re-wrote the budget Evers originally submitted.

Evers approved Assembly Bill 56, which now is Wisconsin Act 9, while issuing 78 vetoes. He said he strongly considered vetoing the entire budget, but instead wanted to show compromise and willingness to work with Republicans.

Most observers believe the Legislature will not be able to override the vetoes.

One of the largest vetoes was for $100,000 that the JFC inserted to research genetic resistance to chronic wasting disease in farm raised deer on a specific deer farm.

The money would have come from the segregated DNR fund (the fish and wildlife account) fueled by license sales from state hunters, trappers and anglers and would have been conducted at a double-fenced deer farm in the southern part of the state where deer have tested positive for CWD.

Many conservation organizations in the state objected since part of the project was funded by hunters and should have been funded by deer farm owners.

Instead with his veto, Evers allowed the $100,000 to study CWD, but not on a private deer farm.

The new budget does not include any increases in fishing or hunting fees, but it does allow the DNR to develop an automatic renewal system for hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses, permits, stamps, preference points and tags.

The new budget also:

  • Extends the Knowles/Nelson Stewardship program for two years at the rate of $33 million per year and Evers will appoint a task force to study reauthorization for 10 years.
  • Creates a new Office of Outdoor Recreation at the Department of Tourism.
  • Provides $150,000 to identify sites with PFAS contamination and adds two new research science positions to the DNR.
  • Allocates almost $200,000,000 from general revenues to pay for forestry activities since the previous governor and legislature eliminated the Forestry Mil Tax.
Categories: CWD, Whitetail Deer, Wisconsin – Tim Eisele

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