For the Record: Michels on plans to shake up state agencies; Clean Water Act’s 50-year impact in Wisconsin

Clean Water Act’s 50-year impact in Wisconsin

On this week’s For the Record, Adrian Stocks from the DNR’s Bureau of Water Quality described how 50 years of the federal Clean Waters Act has helped clean up the state’s waterways — but how there’s still a long way to go.

“Before that, there was open industrial dumping,” Stocks explained. “The Clean Water Act really set up a structure for states to implement a progrma that required treatment of wastewater discharges in order to ensure that the state’s waters and the national waters were fishable and swimmable.”

Tim Michels: Other state agencies could face shakeups

After floating the idea this week of splitting the Department of Natural Resources into two agencies, GOP candidate for governor Tim Michels in an interview with WISC-TV political reporter Will Kenneally said other agencies may come under the microscope as well.

The Republican candidate said “everything is on the table” when it comes to reimagining state agencies, but did not provide specifics of what that would look like. He compared it to his construction business, saying he frequently takes a hard look at each division of his company to see what improvements need to be made.

He also described the people of Wisconsin as “customers” of state government, and said he wants to make changes to state agencies with the goal of getting the best return on investment for those customers. In terms of growing the economy, Michels said lowering the state’s taxes is the best path forward.

“People will want to move their businesses, they want to relocate their businesses to Wisconsin because we are going to be more competitive on a tax basis,” Michels said.

“We are going to also make Wisconsin more attractive for young people that are graduating,” he added. “They’re going to say, ‘I think I’ll stay in Wisconsin because there’s a more favorable tax environment here.'”

School swatting threats in Wisconsin part of nationwide trend

After at least sixteen schools in Wisconsin were targeted this week by similar calls claiming falsely that a student had shot up the school, the National Association of School Resource Officers’ Mo Canady described it as part of a nationwide trend starting a couple months ago.

“There’s been some consistency in a lot of these,” NASRO executive director Mo Canady said. “A thick accent; seems to be reading from a script.”

The National Association of School Resource Officers is tracking local news headlines chronicling the phenomenon, sharing a document with News 3 Now listing dozens of headlines starting in mid-September and continuing through today. They estimate 28 states and Washington D.C. have been hit, mostly with a string of calls similar to others — other times, by students or “copycat” actors.