Democrats say a move to standardize erosion control rules for commercial construction sites is simply another Republican effort to take away local authorities' power.
The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee added the provision to the state budget last week. It would keep local governments from enacting ordinances that are stricter than rules enforced by the state Department of Natural Resources.
Democratic Rep. Cory Mason, of Racine, told the Wisconsin State Journal that the provision caters to corporate interests by letting the state set standards as low as possible. Mason also said it would prevent communities from offering developers incentives to encourage green development.
Republicans, however, said the measure would save cities money because they won't have to set up their own standards.