Bills to Watch: Dairy Innovation Hub, Gas-tax Sticker


Creating a Dairy Innovation Hub

This bill would authorize $7.9 million to create a Dairy Innovation Hub at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls to focus on ensuring animal health and welfare, enriching human health and nutrition, stewarding land and water resources, and growing farm businesses and communities. The dairy industry has suffered from more than four years of low milk prices, and Wisconsin leads the nation in farm bankruptcies in 2019. The bill is in the Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions.


Gas-tax sticker

This bill would require all gas pumps to display the gas tax on a sticker created by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The bill is seen as a Republican counter to Governor Tony Evers’ proposal to increase the gas tax by eight cents up to 40.9 cents per gallon. The bill is currently in the Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection.


Keeping CAFO permit fees in the segregated fund

Under current law, only $95 of each $245 CAFO permit fee is placed in a segregated fund to be used for environmental-quality functions and management of state water resources, including administration of the CAFO permit program. The remainder goes into the state’s general fund. This bill would require the entire $245 fee to be placed in the segregated fund. The Department of Natural Resources estimates this will increase the program’s funding by $76,250. The bill had its first public hearing on April 30.