News & Updates

November 2021 - Legislative Update

Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature met the week of November 8 to take up Republican leaders’ proposals for legislative and congressional redistricting. The legislative is not expected to be on the floor again until January 2022.

Additionally, WPRA is engaging on boat launch legislation which aims to waive the boat launch fees for veterans. WPRA reviewed the bill and plans to suggest the bill be amended to further clarify that the waiver of the boat launch fees only apply to annual fees, not daily.

October 2021 - Legislative Update

Both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature met on September 28 to vote on a variety of matters. After months of delay, the Senate voted to confirm nearly 40 of Governor Tony Evers’ (D) appointments to various state agencies, boards, and commissions, including six agency heads.

There is still no Senate movement on the National Anthem Legislation

September 2021 - Legislative Update

WPRA Continues to Ask Questions on Implementation of the National Anthem Legislation which would require the national anthem be played or sung at any sporting event held in a venue constructed entirely or in part with taxpayer funds. The bill does not include penalties, enforcement mechanisms, or any specifics as to how the anthem must be played or sung at any event. WPRA requested the bill’s Senate author, Sen. Pat Testin (R-Stevens Point), to consider an amendment so that the bill would only apply to events at venues with a capacity of 500 or more. Sen. Testin declined to amend the bill. The bill has not received a Senate committee vote yet. WPRA continues to advocate for the common-sense amendment and discuss with interested legislators.

August 2021 - Legislative Update

On July 27, the Wisconsin Assembly met in extraordinary session to vote on a veto override of Assembly Bill 336. It ended without changes.

Additionally, WPRA Continues to Ask Questions on Implementation of the National Anthem Legislation as they were the only organization to provide written testimony on the bill during the hearing. WPRA expressed concern that the bill would be a burden on the many small, recreational, and children’s sporting events that our members host.

July 2021 - Legislative Update

WPRA successfully advocated for additional funding for the LUG Stewardship program. Thanks to the hard work and outreach of WPRA members, the committee agreed to provide $9.25 million for grants to local units of government, a $3.25 million increase over the program’s previous authorization. Additionally, WPRA continues to ask questions on implementation of the National Anthem Legislation.

June 2021 - Legislative Update

Thanks to the hard work and outreach of WPRA members, the Finance Committee voted to reauthorize the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for a four-year period, earlier this month. Additionally, WPRA is working to amend National Anthem legislation so that the bill requiring the National Anthem to be sung at any sporting event only pertains to events with a capacity of 500 or more. 

June 14, 2021- Press Release
Statement from the Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association Thanking the Joint Finance Committee on Stewardship Action

May 2021- Legislative Update

Currently, the Wisconsin Legislature is focused on constructing a state budget for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium, which starts July 1, 2021. The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance, led by Republicans, took steps during the first week of May to remove hundreds of non-fiscal policy items from the governor’s budget, remove major initiatives such as Medicaid expansion and recreational marijuana legalization, and to return overall spending levels to the baseline established in the 2019-2021 budget.

April 2021- Legislative Update

WPRA continues to advocate for a reauthorization of the Stewardship Program and robust funding for the Local Units of Government (LUG) component. The Legislature is working through the budget but has yet to address major components of the DNR agency budget and related programs.

March 2021- Legislative Update

The legislature is gearing up for lots of action on the 2021-23 state budget  and therefore advocacy efforts to reauthorize and fund Stewardship are in full swing. WPRA is working closely with those organizations that are a part of #TeamKnowlesNelson coalition to ensure legislators appreciate the value of the program and understand the impact of LUG projects in their district.

February 2021- Legislative Update

And just like that the 2021-23 state budget process is officially underway!

On Tuesday, February 16, Governor Tony Evers gave his second biennial budget address and released his 2021-23 executive budget. All told, the governor proposes an operating budget of $45.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2021-22 and $45.6 billion in FY 2022-23. The complete budget, budget in brief, and other executive budget documents are available here.

January 2021- Legislative Update

The 2021-22 legislative session is officially underway here in Wisconsin. The session started last week on January 4 and runs through spring of next year.

Right out of the gate, the legislature and governor have focused on another COVID-19 bill. In April, the legislature passed, and the Governor signed Wisconsin Act 185. Many of the provisions included in Act 185 have expired.

October 30, 2020 - WPRA Letter to Governor
Bolster Stewardship Local Assistance Program
Sent to: Governor Tony Evers

WPRA supports the Department of Natural Resources’ 2021-23 budget request for a 10-year reauthorization of the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program funded at $50 million annually. 

April 24, 2020 – WPRA Letter to Governor
Plans to Reopen Wisconsin’s Parks, Aquatic Resources and Recreational Amenities
Sent to: Governor Tony Evers and Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, Department of Health Services

WPRA members continue to work hard to adhere to the revised Safer at Home Order (Emergency Order 28)! In order for members to be adequately prepared for the summer months, the Association extended a request to Gov. Evers and Sec-Designee Palm to consider and adopt certain exemptions immediately upon the conclusion of the executive order.

Hamilton Consulting Group COVID-19 Resource Website on the State Actions

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