Press Release: 2023 Roundup: Gov. Evers Highlights 2023 Accomplishments

Office of Governor Tony Evers
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 26, 2023
2023 Roundup: Gov. Evers Highlights 2023 Accomplishments
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today celebrated his and the Evers Administration’s work serving the people of Wisconsin over the past year, highlighting a list of accomplishments as 2023 comes to an end.

Among Gov. Evers’ and the Evers Administration’s accomplishments include: enacting 86 bipartisan bills; securing a generational increase in support to local communities through shared revenue; negotiating and signing a bipartisan deal to keep the Milwaukee Brewers in Milwaukee until 2050; improving more than 7,400 miles of road and 1,780 bridges since 2019, including more 900 miles of road and more than 200 bridges just in the last year alone; building more than 14,000 units of affordable housing since 2019; and the governor using his broad, constitutional veto authority to enact a 2023-25 biennial budget that includes more than $1 billion for public education, one of the largest investments in workforce housing in state history with a $525 million investment, $125 million to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination, support for Wisconsin farmers, tax relief for working families, and investments to build the 21st-century infrastructure to support Wisconsin’s 21st-century economy and workforce, among other key provisions.

“I’m still jazzed as hell that Wisconsinites elected me as their governor, and I’m proud we kicked off the first year of my second term with some of our most important work to date: building a strong economy that works for everyone, bolstering our workforce and preventing a collapse of our child care industry, doing what’s best for our kids and our schools, fixing the darn roads, expanding access to healthcare, and trying to do the right thing every day,” said Gov. Evers. “This past year, we also passed significant bipartisan legislation to provide a generational increase in support to local governments, to provide one of the largest investments in affordable housing in state history, and to keep the Brewers in Wisconsin until 2050, ensuring future generations will grow up rooting for the home team just as so many of us have.

“I’m grateful to Wisconsinites across the state for the privilege of serving them and for their partnership and support in doing this work, and I’m thrilled to keep working together to build upon our achievements in the new year.” 

A comprehensive but not exhaustive list of Gov. Evers’ and the Evers Administration’s 2023 accomplishments is available below.

Strengthening the Economy and Supporting Small Businesses 
  • Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) announced the state of Wisconsin ended Fiscal Year 2023 with a positive balance of $7.07 billion—eclipsing last year’s record-breaking $4.3 billion balance. In addition, the state maintained its ‘rainy day’ fund (Budget Stabilization Fund) at a record-high $1.8 billion, according to the new Annual Fiscal Report released by DOA. 
  • Gov. Evers announced for the fourth consecutive year that the state’s General Fund recorded a positive balance at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). The state’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report shows the state’s GAAP balance increased by over 40 percent from a positive balance of $4.6 billion at the end of the 2021-22 fiscal year to a new record high of $6.7 billion at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year.  
  • After months of collaboration and negotiations between the Office of the Governor, members of the Wisconsin State Legislature, the Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee County, the city of Milwaukee, and local stakeholders and partners, Gov. Evers signed Assembly Bill 438, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 40, and Assembly Bill 439, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 41, to keep the Milwaukee Brewers and Major League Baseball in Wisconsin through 2050. 
  • Gov. Evers and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) announced $80 million to support entrepreneurs and small businesses throughout the state, which is available through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) under the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). In November, the governor and Sen. Baldwin also announced the SSBCI had awarded the state $1.9 million in technical assistance funding to support legal and financial advice for small businesses.  
  • Due to the state’s leadership in the field of personalized medicine and biohealth technology, in October, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) designated Wisconsin as a Regional Technology Hub (RTH). The RTH designation clears the way for Wisconsin to compete for up to $75 million in funding under the federal CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. The EDA announced it is also awarding Wisconsin a $350,000 strategic development grant as part of the designation.  
  • Gov. Evers announced Microsoft will invest billions of dollars to expand its data center footprint in Mount Pleasant, which will bring significant benefits to both the local community and the entire state. Microsoft’s investment is a testament to Wisconsin’s economic strengths, which include a skilled workforce, excellent power and internet infrastructure, and outstanding educational facilities. 
  • Gov. Evers, together with the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the Wisconsin Office of Outdoor Recreation, announced that the latest release of data from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that Wisconsin’s outdoor recreation industry contributed a record-breaking $9.8 billion to the state’s gross domestic product in 2022, growing 6.8 percent over the previous record set in 2021 and supporting more than 94,000 jobs. This comes as earlier in the year, Gov. Evers announced Wisconsin’s tourism industry saw a record-breaking year in 2022, generating $23.7 billion in total economic impact and surpassing the previous record of $22.2 billion set in 2019. 
  • The Department of Tourism announced Wisconsin as the host for Season 21 of Bravo’s Top Chef. The filming of the show has resulted in between $5 and $6 million in local spending, including approximately 7,000 room nights in Wisconsin. 
  • In the last year, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) stopped $305 million in fraudulent income tax refunds, returned $38.8 million in unclaimed property, distributed over $2.4 billion to local governments in shared revenue and property tax relief, and the lottery achieved record sales of $981.6 million, over 30 percent of which is typically returned to homeowners in the form of a property tax credit. 
  • In 2023, DOR’s average processing time for individual income tax returns was fewer than five days, and the tax revenue forecast error was 1.5 percent with an eight-month time horizon, which is within DOR’s two percent objective. This is based on Wisconsin’s history as the best tax forecasting state in the country. 
  • DOA marked the 40th anniversary of the Supplier Diversity Program, and according to the program’s annual report released this year, the state spent a record $200 million in general procurement, facilities construction, architecture/engineering, and state highway services with Minority Business Enterprises in 2022.  

Bolstering the Workforce and Investing in the State’s Child Care Industry  

  • Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) celebrated a new record-low unemployment rate of 2.4 percent in April and May, and the state’s unemployment rate held steadily below the national average for the remainder of the year. DWD also reported new record-high non-farm job numbers several months in a row, with the final record of 3,020,300 non-farm jobs in November 2023. 
  • Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #208, calling a special session of the Legislature to occur on Wed., Sept. 20, 2023, to complete their work on the 2023-25 budget and pass a meaningful, comprehensive plan to address the state’s longstanding, generational workforce challenges. The governor’s plan included investments to prevent a looming collapse of the state’s child care industry, expand paid family leave, invest in higher education to help educate, train, retain, and recruit talented workers, and support targeted solutions to workforce challenges in high-need areas, specifically the state’s healthcare and education workforce sectors. 
  • After months of inaction from Republicans in the Legislature, Gov. Evers, in October, announced $170 million in emergency funding to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) to continue the Child Care Counts Stabilization Payment Program at current levels through June 2025. While the emergency stopgap measure does not meet the same funding levels Child Care Counts has received previously, the funding will still provide direct relief to over 4,400 child care providers across the state to help ensure child care providers can afford to keep their doors open and continue providing care for kids to keep workers in Wisconsin’s workforce. 
  • The Wisconsin Policy Forum named DCF the inaugural recipient of the La Follette/Gladfelter Award for Innovation in State Government for their efforts in stabilizing and sustaining Wisconsin’s child care industry, including through the successful Child Care Counts and Project Growth grant programs and a historic Wisconsin Shares rate increase that supports families, child care providers, and communities. Child Care Counts has helped more than 4,440 child care providers keep their doors open, ensuring the employment of 22,000 child care professionals and allowing providers to continue care for more than 113,000 kids.  
  • DCF and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA) launched the Provider Assistance for Licensing (PAL) program funded through federal relief funds to increase the number of licensed child care providers in Northern and Western Wisconsin by providing grants and technical support to individuals who want to become licensed child care providers. So far, 19 new child care programs have been successfully licensed after going through PAL, with more in the pipeline for 2024. 
  • Gov. Evers and DWD announced Wisconsin’s Registered Apprenticeship Program achieved a state record of more than 15,900 apprentices during 2022 thanks to strong growth in traditional sectors, including construction and manufacturing, and innovative opportunities in fields such as IT and healthcare. During “National Apprenticeship Week” in November, Gov. Evers and DWD also announced a new all-time record in the program’s 112-year history with 16,384 enrolled apprentices for this year. 
  • In 2023, DWD awarded more than $5 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward (WFF) Worker Training grants to support employers across the state in providing new or increased wages, $1.1 million through WFF to expand paid internship opportunities for University of Wisconsin (UW) System students in high-demand fields, and $700,000 in Wisconsin Fast Forward Technical Education Equipment grants to help school districts expand advanced manufacturing education programs. 
  • DWD launched a pilot registered nurse apprenticeship pathway to address the nursing shortage in Wisconsin. In an innovative partnership with UW Health and Madison College, the four-year pilot program is the first of its kind to incorporate an associate degree and compliance with rigorous nursing industry certification standards. 
  • The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) launched an initiative to train 10,000 people as certified direct care professionals to combat the state’s shortage of caregivers.  
  • DWD was awarded $806,379 by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to expand the state’s Registered Apprenticeship and Certified Pre-Apprenticeship programs and enhance the state's connection to the national apprenticeship system. 
  • In September 2023, DWD was awarded $11.25 million in federal funds by the U.S. DOL to continue strengthening and modernizing the state’s unemployment insurance system. Wisconsin’s unemployment insurance system programming was originally developed in the early 1970s. Gov. Evers has long been a proponent of updating the antiquated system, including calling a special session of the Legislature to fix Wisconsin’s broken unemployment system during his 2021 State of the State address. Gov. Evers later proudly signed 2021 Special Session Senate Bill 1, now 2021 Wisconsin Act 4, bringing the state closer to modernizing Wisconsin’s unemployment system after more than a decade of inaction. According to a recent statement by agency officials at DWD, the state’s modernization efforts are progressing and are expected to be completed “on time and within budget.”
  • Gov. Evers and DWD celebrated that more than 33,000 Wisconsin residents have been served through the Workforce Solutions Initiative since its inception. As of October 2023:
    • Workforce Innovation Grants have made an impact on 27,020 people;
    • The Worker Connection Program has served 2,457 participants; and
    • The Worker Advancement Initiative has reached more than 3,881 participants.
  • Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #211, creating the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce and Artificial Intelligence, charging the task force with gathering and analyzing information and producing an advisory action plan to identify the current state of generative artificial intelligence’s impact on Wisconsin’s labor market and to develop informed predictions regarding its implications for the near term and future. Gov. Evers later announced 30 members of the task force, including leaders from state government, academia, nonprofit organizations, the technology industry, and other sectors. 
  • Gov. Evers signed several bills providing general wage increases for certain state of Wisconsin employees, including state attorneys, troopers and inspectors in the Wisconsin State Patrol, UW System employees, and those in the building trades. Gov. Evers later signed Senate Bills 554 and 555, 2023 Wisconsin Acts 38 and 39, respectively, which provide additional general wage adjustments for State Patrol troopers and inspectors and state of Wisconsin employees in the building trades for 2023-24 and 2024-25.  
  • Additionally, as part of the new Compensation Plan, the starting pay for correctional officers was increased to $33 per hour, which can be as high as $41 per hour with add-ons. Hiring security staff has been a challenge at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) adult institutions, and it is expected that these wage increases will have a substantial impact on the department’s recruitment and retention efforts. For example, with the influx of new recruits graduating from the academy, the vacancy rate is projected to decrease from 35 percent to 26 percent heading into 2024. 
  • Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) announced new efforts improving professional license processes. The efforts include a new public-facing licensing dashboard designed to help improve transparency around licensing processes and department processing capacity. As a result of reforms and improvements made within the department, license review times for new applications have dropped to three days on average, plan review times for commercial, industrial, and other public buildings have dropped from 60-80 days in 2017-18 to 11-23 days as of December 2023, and legal review times have dropped from a six-week average processing time in 2022 to a two-week average processing time in 2023—a decrease of 67 percent. 
  • DSPS, in the last year, has developed collaborations with the UW System, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and DHS, as well as the Dentistry Examining Board, the Wisconsin Dental Association, and the Marquette University School of Dentistry, to reduce bottlenecks and streamline licensing in a variety of health-related fields.

Doing What’s Best for Kids  

  • The 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers made historic progress toward fully funding public schools by providing an overall increase of nearly $1.2 billion in spendable authority for public school districts. This increase is more than ten times larger than the increase in spendable authority for public school districts in the 2021-23 biennium. The governor’s partial veto also provided school districts with continued, additive per pupil revenue adjustments of $325 every year through 2425, ensuring predictable, long-term spending authority increases to help meet rising costs for the foreseeable future. This budget also:  
    • Provided $97 million over the biennium to achieve a special education reimbursement rate of 33.3 percent each year, which is the highest reimbursement rate the state has seen in over 20 years;   
    • Set aside $50 million to improve reading and literacy outcomes for K-12 students; and   
    • Provided $30 million to continue support for school-based mental health services modeled on the governor’s successful “Get Kids Ahead” Initiative.   
  • Gov. Evers signed Assembly Bill 321, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 20, which makes several comprehensive updates to literacy instruction in the state designed to help improve reading and literacy outcomes for K-12 students. Some aspects of Act 20 were also designed to use $50 million previously set aside for literacy through the biennial budget process. 
  • DCF, in partnership with the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health, launched the infant and early childhood mental health consultation program, which pairs mental health professionals with early childhood educators and families to support young kids social and emotional needs and address challenging behaviors.  
  • The 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers provided more than $1 million over the biennium for social-emotional training and technical assistance for child care providers. 
  • Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Economic Development Cooperation (WEDC) announced more than $560,000 in fab lab grants to train students at 25 schools around the state in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics skills and prepare them for careers using advanced technologies. This included the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School, which is the first Tribal school to be awarded a fab lab grant from WEDC.
  • Gov. Evers joined GLSEN’s Rise Up for LGBTQ Youth campaign by proclaiming October 17 as “Rise Up for LGBTQ Youth Day” in Wisconsin. The Rise Up for LGBTQ Youth campaign brings together advocates, educators, students, allies, and leaders across the country to celebrate LGBTQ youth and commit to combatting hateful rhetoric and policies that target LGBTQ kids and families. 
  • Keeping his promise to protect LGBTQ youth, Gov. Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 465, a bill passed by Republicans in the Legislature banning gender-affirming care for minor patients with gender dysphoria. The governor has repeatedly reaffirmed that he will veto any anti-LGBTQ legislation sent to his desk.
  • Gov. Evers, joined by the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, signed Assembly Bill 109, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 60, which will help work to ensure every student has the tools and skills to make smart financial and budgeting decisions to prepare for their future by requiring students to complete at least 0.5 credit of personal financial literacy to graduate from a school district, starting with the 2028 graduating class.  

Building Strong, Safe Communities 

  • Gov. Evers signed Assembly Bill 245, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 12, providing a historic increase in support to local communities through shared revenue and ensuring the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County do not face an imminent fiscal cliff. Before this increase, shared revenue payments from the state to local governments had been held flat for much of the last decade, and as a result, local communities have been asked to do more with less and have been forced to make difficult decisions to cut critical services, including public safety. Gov. Evers has been clear for years now that the state must do its part to ensure communities have the resources they need to meet basic and unique needs alike. With the generational investments Gov. Evers signed into law in Act 12, local communities will be able to invest in key priorities like local health and human services, transportation, EMS, fire, and law enforcement services and address other challenges such as PFAS and district attorney recruitment and retention.
  • This year, Gov. Evers signed several bills aimed at curbing reckless driving and promoting safety on Wisconsin roads, including signing Senate Bill 92, which was the first bill enacted in the governor’s second term. Now, 2023 Wisconsin Act 1, Senate Bill 92 allows counties and municipalities to enact ordinances authorizing law enforcement to impound a vehicle if its owner is cited for reckless driving, has a prior conviction for reckless driving, and has not paid the imposed forfeiture for that offense. Gov. Evers also signed two bills during this legislative session to help address reckless driving and carjacking in the state by increasing penalties for both and creating a new “carjacking” section of the criminal code. Finally, Gov. Evers recently signed Assembly Bill 394, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 86, which uses $6 million set aside in the budget to establish and fund a driver education grant program under the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). The program will help pay the costs of driver education courses for certain low-income students, helping to remove financial barriers for those who may not otherwise take driver education courses. 
  • In February, Gov. Evers and WisDOT announced more than $6 million in federal grants for eight Wisconsin counties and municipalities, including $4.4 million for the city of Milwaukee, to help develop comprehensive plans to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s (BIL) Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program. In October, WisDOT announced nearly $1 million in another round of SS4A funding to help five Wisconsin communities identify solutions to improve road safety in their area. 
  • Gov. Evers announced that the state will use nearly $50 million of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Block Grant funds to issue supplemental heating assistance to more than 170,000 households that have previously received benefits. This supplemental assistance will provide an extra $279 per household on average for a total average benefit of $637. 
  • The Evers Administration and DOC reached several milestones toward closing Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls (LHS/CLS) and developing a new Type 1 facility, including the purchase of land in the city of Milwaukee. The governor’s 2023-25 budget included additional funds to construct the new 32-bed secure facility in Milwaukee, as well as $6 million in exploratory funding for a second Type 1 facility in Dane County. This brings the state another step forward towards being able to safely move youth closer to home and transition the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake facilities for other uses. 
  • Also, this year, Gov. Evers and DOC continued building upon the progress being made at LHS/CLS to improve conditions at the facilities and implement evidence-based practices. In the year’s final report from the federal court-appointed monitor, the DOC was in substantial compliance with 36 of the 50 provisions identified in the consent decree, which stems from a 2017 lawsuit over conditions at the facility under the previous administration. Notable improvements were building and classroom upgrades, programmatic development, and additional staffing. This is a testament to the work and commitment of the DOC and its staff to better serve juveniles at LHS/CLS. 
  • Gov. Evers announced more than $20 million in grants to 21 municipalities across Wisconsin to fund public improvement projects through the Community Development Block Grant Public Facilities (CDBG–PF) program. Projects include improvements, repairs, or expansions of streets, drainage systems, water and sewer systems, sidewalks, and community facilities. 
  • After Gov. Evers directed $20 million through funds available under the ARPA to get the project through the finish line, state and local leaders broke ground on the new Forensic Science and Protective Medicine Facility in Milwaukee. The Forensic Science and Protective Medicine Facility will serve as a new state-of-the-art home for the state of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Crime Lab, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. In addition, the four-story facility will include the relocated Organ Procurement Organization and Tissue Bank of Versiti Wisconsin. 
  • Gov. Evers has granted 1,111 pardons since reinstating the pardon process in 2019, which had been dormant during the previous administration. This past year, the governor broke the Wisconsin record for most pardons granted by a governor in state history, surpassing former Gov. Julius Heil’s record of pardoning 943 individuals between 1939 and 1943. 

Investing in Affordable Housing for Working Families 

  • Since 2019, the Evers Administration has helped build more than 14,000 units of affordable housing through state and federally funded grants administered by WHEDA, DOA, WEDC, and other state agencies. 
  • Gov. Evers has proposed robust provisions and investments to expand access to housing statewide. This past year, the governor was proud to sign a bipartisan package of legislation creating innovative, new programs at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to help expand access to safe, affordable housing for working families. The 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers provided one of the largest state investments in affordable housing in state history—$525 million—to fund the programs created through bipartisan legislation, including:   
    • $50 million in one-time funds to WHEDA, which, as a result of the governor’s constitutional line-item veto authority, can be used to support a housing rehabilitation program to offer grants or forgivable loans to low- to moderate-income households to renovate or repair their current home and address hazards like lead and mold; 
    • $275 million in one-time funds for the newly created Residential Housing Infrastructure Revolving Loan Fund at WHEDA to provide low-interest loans that support the creation of new affordable and senior housing; 
    • $100 million in one-time dollars to fund the newly created Main Street Housing Rehabilitation Revolving Loan fundnow called the Restore Main Street Loan Programat WHEDA to provide low-interest loans to improve rental workforce housing on the second or third floor of existing buildings; 
    • $100 million in one-time funding for the newly created Commercial-to-Housing Conversion Revolving Loan Fundnow called the Vacancy-to-Vitality Loan Programat WHEDA to provide loans for the conversion of vacant commercial buildings to new residential developments of workforce or senior housing; and
    • Increasing the limit on notes and bonds that WHEDA can issue that are secured by a capital reserve fund from $800 million to $1 billion to continue to finance projects supported with an allocation of state and federal housing tax credits.  
  • In December, Gov. Evers and WHEDA launched two of the new loan programs that were funded in the 2023-25 budget, the Restore Main Street and Vacancy-to-Vitality Loan Programs. 
    • The Restore Main Street Loan Program provides loan funding for building owners to cover the costs of improving housing located on the second or third floors of an existing building with commercial space on the ground level. Borrowers can apply for up to $20,000 per housing unit or 25 percent of the total rehabilitation cost at a low interest rate of three percent or one percent in municipalities with a population of less than 10,000. 
    • The Vacancy-to-Vitality Loan Program allows a developer to apply for a loan to cover the costs of converting a vacant commercial building to workforce or senior housing. Developers can apply for up to $1 million or 20 percent of the total project cost, including land at a low interest rate of three percent or one percent in municipalities with a population of less than 10,000 or senior housing. 
  • DOA, through the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners Program, helped over 8,200 Wisconsin homeowners stay in their homes through $65 million in assistance from federal ARPA funds.
  • In December, Gov. Evers also announced the new federally funded and created HOME-American Rescue Plan program, providing nearly $42 million to support efforts to provide safe, affordable housing and supportive services for low-income and housing-insecure households. The program is being administered by DOA's Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources, and it will benefit those experiencing homelessness, those at risk of experiencing homelessness, or those in other vulnerable populations. 
  • Gov. Evers and WHEDA announced developers of affordable multifamily housing will receive over $32 million in federal and state tax credits to help address Wisconsin’s housing shortage. In total, the 23 developments receiving tax credits will provide over 1,500 new affordable housing units in both urban and rural communities seeking housing for their workers, families, and seniors.
  • Before the end of the year, the WHEDA Foundation will award $2 million in housing grants to 53 organizations in 27 counties throughout Wisconsin. These grants will create or improve 1,668 beds and housing units that will provide emergency shelter, transitional residences, and extremely low-income housing.
  • Beginning in 2023, WHEDA capped annual rental increases to five percent per year for federally or state-subsidized affordable housing. This policy applies to existing residents in properties utilizing state or federal housing tax credits.
  • WHEDA’s Single Family Team closed a record $73 million in loans in September, beating the highest recorded total from 2018 by $10 million. In total, the year-to-date lending as of December 6 reached a total of 1,524 loans totaling more than $442 million.

Supporting Healthier Wisconsinites and Highlighting the Year of Mental Health 

  • Gov. Evers, during his 2023 State of the State address, declared 2023 the Year of Mental Health, calling mental and behavioral health a “quiet, burgeoning crisis” affecting the state and Wisconsin’s kids, families, and workforce. In his 2023-25 budget proposal, the governor recommended more than $500 million in investments to expand access to mental and behavioral health services to folks in every corner of the state.  
  • While Republicans in the Legislature rejected many of the governor’s proposed investments in mental health, the 2023-25 budget Gov. Evers signed earlier this year still included several investments to ensure more Wisconsinites can get the mental healthcare they need. Some of those investments included providing:
    • $30 million to continue support for school-based mental health services modeled on the governor’s successful “Get Kids Ahead” Initiative;
    • $10 million in funding for up to two crisis urgent care and observation centers, which will serve as regional receiving and stabilization facilities to improve service delivery and patient outcomes;
    • $200,000 for mental health assistance to farmers and farm families. This crucial funding enables farmers and farm family members to access in-person counseling services from a participating mental health provider in their local area at no cost;
    • more than $30 million over the biennium to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for services provided in hospital behavioral health units;
    • $7 million over the biennium for the psychiatry and behavioral health residency program at the Medical College of Wisconsin to support the recruitment and training of psychiatry and behavioral health residents;
    • $2 million over the biennium to establish a telemedicine crisis response pilot program in order to provide faster and more efficient care; and
    • more than $500,000 in Tribal gaming revenues over the biennium to the Oneida Nation for staff and service costs in their Healing to Wellness Court to support a coordinated, post-conviction substance use program that will help reduce recidivism and break the cycle of substance use. 
  • In July, Gov. Evers visited Parks Falls for the rebuild kickoff event for the Marshfield Medical Center-Park Falls. In 2022, the governor awarded $20 million through the Healthcare Infrastructure Capital Investment Grant Program to support substantial and transformational upgrades to modernize the facility and enhance the quality of care for patients. The project is set to be finished in 2025.
  • Gov. Evers announced that DHS is receiving nearly $17 million in new federal funding to enhance operations of the 988 Wisconsin Lifeline, the service that answers calls, texts, and chats to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline from Wisconsin-based phone numbers and locations.
  • Gov. Evers signed Senate Bill 263, now Wisconsin Act 71, which allows prescription drugs covered by the SeniorCare program to be dispensed in amounts up to a 100-day supply, saving seniors time and money on copayments by reducing the need for monthly trips to the pharmacy.
  • The work of the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) DHS Health Care Coverage Partnership contributed to the highest enrollment on since 2018, with 221,128 Wisconsinites signing up for high-quality health insurance coverage during the 2023 Open Enrollment Period—and during this Open Enrollment Period, over 43,000 Wisconsinites visited the website. 
  • DHS awarded $30 million in grants for Medicaid home and community-based services to support organizations across the state. Many of the awardees will be focusing on transportation to allow program members, including older adults and people with disabilities, to get vital services and participate in activities in the community.
  • DHS finalized and released the Governor’s Health Equity Council’s full report, “Building a Better Wisconsin: Investing in the Health and Well-being of Wisconsinites, including recommendations to advance evidence-based policy that improves health, quality of life, the environment, and agriculture for all Wisconsin residents.
  • To continue combatting the opioid epidemic, DSPS launched an updated version of the Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (WI ePDMP), which provides valuable information about monitored prescription drugs dispensed in the state to aid healthcare professionals in prescribing and dispensing decisions. The multi-year enhancement project incorporated feedback from prescribers, healthcare systems, law enforcement, pharmacies, and dispensers, and users should notice faster processing times, upgraded patient matching capacities, and an enhanced user interface.
  • DHS, throughout the year, issued many awards and grants to organizations and communities throughout the state to address the opioid crisis and expand harm reduction efforts, including but not limited to: 
    • $10 million to three organizations for the construction of spaces designed to provide treatment and recovery support services for women; 
    • $8 million in grants awarded to three Tribal Nations and 22 county agencies to help over 4,000 people throughout Wisconsin gain access to treatment for opioid or stimulant use disorders; and 
    • Grants to six law enforcement agencies to support their work addressing the opioid epidemic in the state, including funds to support community drug disposal programs, programs that keep people with an opioid use disorder out of jail, medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder, education and awareness training for staff, and treatment for incarcerated people with an opioid use disorder. 
  • DHS awarded $5.1 million in grants to 14 nonprofit dental clinics in June, allowing these clinics to serve 7,000 more patients, a nearly 17.5 percent increase. 
  • In November, DHS launched the Wisconsin Wayfinder: Children’s Resource Network to connect families of children with delays, disabilities, special health care needs, or mental health conditions to essential support and resources.

Fighting for Reproductive Freedom 

  • The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn Roe v. Wade threw reproductive freedom in Wisconsin into chaos due to confusion caused by an outdated 1849-era statute enacted before the Civil War and at a time when Wisconsin women did not have the right to vote. In January, Gov. Evers and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul filed a new brief in their direct challenge to Wisconsin’s 1849-era statute, arguing against a motion for the case to be dismissed. The original lawsuit was filed by Gov. Evers and Attorney General Kaul in June 2022 after the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey.  
  • Days before the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision in January, Gov. Evers and Legislative Democrats announced a new effort to put an advisory referendum on the April 2023 ballot, asking voters if Wisconsin should repeal the state’s 1849-era statute and restore the constitutional rights guaranteed for nearly 50 years under Roe v. Wade.  
  • After a Dane County Circuit Court judge in June denied a motion to dismiss Gov. Evers and Attorney General Kaul’s lawsuit challenging the state’s 1849-era statute, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced they would resume providing abortion services to patients in Wisconsin. 
  • In December, the Dane County judge hearing Gov. Evers’ lawsuit determined the 1849-era law did not apply to medical abortions, enabling healthcare providers to resume providing abortion care in recent weeksan important victory in the fight to restore reproductive freedom in Wisconsin. 

Supporting Wisconsin Farmers and Agriculture 

  • Gov. Evers signed the 2023-25 budget making several key investments to support Wisconsin farmers, farm families, and the agricultural industry, including:
    • Providing $2 million to help build Wisconsins agricultural brand in international markets and increase agricultural exports through the Wisconsin Initiative for Agricultural Exports program (WIAE); 
    • Investing an additional $600,000 to increase the available funding for the Dairy Processor Grant program;
    • Bolstering the Meat Processor Grant program with an additional $1.6 million in fiscal year 2023-24; and
    • Providing $200,000 for the Farmer Wellness Program, enabling farmers and farm family members to access in-person counseling services from a participating mental health provider in their local area at no cost. 
  • In 2023 the Year of Mental Health, more farmers and their families took advantage of the Farmer Wellness Program than ever before. In Fiscal Year 2023, the number of counseling vouchers redeemed was the highest in program history, with a 35 percent increase over fiscal year 2022. From fiscal year 2019 to 2023, the program has seen a 67 percent increase in vouchers issued and a greater than 300 percent increase in vouchers redeemed.
  • Gov. Evers during June Dairy Month visited Hamburg Hills Farm in Stoddard to sign Senate Bill 247, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 13, which created the Agricultural Roads Improvement Program. The new program received $150 million in the 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers, enabling local communities to make targeted investments in eligible road projects that support agriculture that would likely otherwise not receive funding from other state aid programs.
  • This past year, the WIAE developed and led 34 trade promotion activities, provided over 1,900 consulting services to 536 unique companies, and had over 1,700 stakeholder engagements, as reported in the 2023 Annual Report on Economic Development. Additionally, DATCP awarded over $683,000 in Export Expansion grants to nine nonprofit organizations, as well as $110,000 in International Market Access grants to eight agricultural product exporters in collaboration with WEDC. 
  • DATCP awarded $1 million in producer-led watershed protection grants to 43 farmer-led groups for 2023. Grants support producer-led conservation solutions by encouraging innovation and farmer participation in on-the-ground efforts to improve Wisconsins soil health and water quality.
  • DATCP awarded nearly $1.6 million to 20 agricultural producers for the 2023 Commercial Nitrogen Optimization Pilot Program (NOPP) to advance new methods of optimizing commercial nitrogen applied to agricultural fields, helping to protect vital soil and water resources. Additionally, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, DATCP received 450 applications for cover crop insurance rebates on approximately 145,000 acres of land under the new cover crop insurance rebate program, and the department anticipates approximately $725,000 will be awarded in rebates to the applicants. These programs were both created in April 2022, when Gov. Evers signed 2021 Wisconsin Act 223, and the 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers provided $1.8 million in each year on a one-time basis to continue these programs.
  • The 2021-23 budget signed by Gov. Evers increased the available funding for Dairy Processor Grants by $400,000 over the biennium to promote innovation and improve profitability throughout Wisconsins dairy industry. This year, as part of his 2023-25 budget, Gov. Evers proposed once again to increase the available funding for the program, and the final budget signed by Gov. Evers invested an additional $600,000 for the program over the biennium. In 2023, DATCP awarded Dairy Processor grants to 21 Wisconsin dairy companies, helping foster innovation, improve profitability, and sustain the long-term viability of Wisconsins dairy processing facilities. 
  • Gov. Evers proposed and funded the creation of DATCPs Meat Processor Infrastructure Grant Program as part of his 2021-23 budget, and this year, Gov. Evers continued that effort by signing a budget that provided an additional $1.6 million for the program. In 2023, DATCP awarded Meat Processor Infrastructure grants to eight meat processors, helping grow Wisconsins meat industry and strengthening a key component of a resilient supply chain. 

Defending Democracy 

  • Gov. Evers, represented by Attorney General Kaul, filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit before the Wisconsin Supreme Court challenging the state’s current legislative maps. Gov. Evers and Attorney General Kaul later filed a brief in the same lawsuit asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to declare Wisconsin’s legislative maps unconstitutional and institute new maps that avoid the partisan bias that has “infected” Wisconsin’s legislative maps “to the detriment of Wisconsin’s democracy.”
  • Gov. Evers swiftly condemned yet another attempt by Republicans in the Legislature to interfere in Wisconsin’s elections by passing legislation that would ensure Legislature-picked and Legislature-approved map drawers for the state’s redistricting process. Assembly Republicans passed this legislation two days after it was introduced without holding a public hearing or providing any avenue for Wisconsinites to provide input on the proposal.
  • Gov. Evers sued Republicans in the Legislature for violating the Wisconsin Constitution and intruding into executive powers. The governor’s lawsuit argues Republicans in the Legislature have unconstitutionally and unlawfully obstructed basic government functions by blocking already-approved pay raises for approximately 35,000 UW System employees, conservation projects under the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, and updates to the state’s commercial building standards and ethics standards for certain licensed professionals.

Investing in Infrastructure 

  • Since 2019, according to WisDOT, the Evers Administration has improved more than 7,400 miles of road and 1,780 bridges, including more than 900 miles of road and more than 200 bridges in 2023.  
  • Thanks to investments in the 2021-23 budget signed by Gov. Evers, the state distributed more than $526 million in General Transportation Aids to local governments in calendar year 2023 to support transportation-related projects, a two percent increase over calendar year 2022.
  • Gov. Evers signed the 2023-25 budget, which provided important investments to ensure the state’s infrastructure can meet the needs of a 21st-century workforce and a 21st-century economy. The 2023-25 budget:
    • Invested $555.5 million to fund transportation projects underway or under development, reducing future transportation fund debt service payments and saving Wisconsin taxpayers money;
    • Provided a two percent increase in General Transportation Aids for municipalities and counties in both calendar year 2024 and calendar year 2025the largest amount of funding for the program in the state’s history; 
    • Provided $100 million in additional, one-time funding for local roads through the Local Road Improvement Program and $150 million to fund the new Agricultural Road Improvement Program created by 2023 Wisconsin Act 13, as previously mentioned;
    • Provided bonding authority and funding levels adequate to keep high-priority projects on schedule, including the Blatnik Bridge replacement project in Superior in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the replacement of the I-94/90/39 bridges over the Wisconsin River, and the expansions of I-41 in the Fox River Valley, I-43 in Southeast Wisconsin, and I-94 in the city of Milwaukee; and
    • Provided a two percent increase in mass transit aids to assist local transit systems, as well as a four percent increase in paratransit aids and increases for specialized transit aids for seniors and people with disabilities.   
  • In Fiscal Year 2023, WisDOT worked on more than 350 construction projects to improve safety, connectivity, and quality of life for Wisconsinites in all corners of the state, with a combined value exceeding $1.3 billion. And since WisDOT began administering BIL funding, about $606 million has been awarded in federal funding for more than 500 transportation projects across the state.
  • Gov. Evers and WisDOT made critical investments to build a multimodal transportation system that considers all users, including securing $2 million in federal funding from the Federal Railway Administration to study expanding passenger rail service via Amtrak to Madison, Eau Claire, and Green Bay; awarding $5.3 million in grants through the state’s Harbor Assistance Program for seven harbor maintenance and improvement projects, promoting waterborne freight and economic development; and distributing $2.3 million to cover operating costs of nine lift bridges, supporting maritime commerce in four cities along Lake Michigan. 
  • For the fourth time during his time in office (the coronavirus pandemic prevented a 2020 tour), Gov. Evers went on a statewide “Pothole Patrol” joining WisDOT to fix potholes on streets and roads in communities across the state. This year, the governor fixed potholes in Platteville, Kenosha, Appleton, Brown Deer, Rhinelander, Chippewa Falls, and Onalaska where he also discussed the importance of investing in local roads and highways.
  • Gov. Evers and WisDOT announced the state received two federal grants to develop innovations to enhance work zone safety in Wisconsin. Funding was supplied through the new federal Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program established by the BIL. 
  • In May, Gov. Evers and WisDOT worked in partnership with the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin to unveil dual-language highway signs indicating Tribal boundaries and communities in both Ojibwe and English. Later in the year, the governor and WisDOT also worked with the Forest County Potawatomi to unveil dual-language highway signs in both the Potawatomi and English languages. WisDOT has previously worked with four other Native Nations in Wisconsin to install dual-language signs, including the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, Oneida Nation, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and the Sokaogon Chippewa Community, Mole Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Additionally, in December, Gov. Evers signed Senate Bill 280, now Wisconsin Act 74, which enables a federally recognized Native Nation to erect their own welcome signs within the highway right-of-way, informing motorists of the territorial boundaries of Tribal reservations and trust lands.
  • Gov. Evers and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz directed their state transportation agencies to request more than $1 billion in federal funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bridge Investment Program to replace the aging John A. Blatnik Bridge between Superior and Duluth, Minnesota.
  • The Wisconsin State Building Commission, which Gov. Evers chairs, approved more than $1.6 billion in key projects across the state, including constructing state-of-the-art facilities at UW schools, making needed maintenance and repair improvements within state-owned buildings, and investing in important non-state projects to benefit various communities.
  • Gov. Evers announced $36.6 million for five building projects across the state in Janesville, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Door County that were previously rejected by members of the Legislature in the 2023-25 Capital Budget process. The governor’s investment is projected to support over 400 jobs and nearly $68 million in economic activity.
  • WisDOT completed several key improvement and repair projects, including improvements to Wisconsin Highway 50 (WIS 50) in Kenosha County, improvements to Wisconsin Highway 15 (WIS 15) in Outagamie County, and construction of a new Cobban Bridge over the Chippewa River between Cornell and Jim Falls.
  • Gov. Evers, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) announced the launch of the Internet Discount Finder website to help Wisconsin households find and access affordable internet.
  • The PSC awarded $16.6 million from the state-funded Broadband Expansion Grant Program for 24 projects that will expand broadband internet access to more than 6,000 residential and business customers across 19 counties.
  • Gov. Evers and the PSC opened a $42 million grant round for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, funded under the ARPA Capital Projects Fund, to invest in infrastructure projects focused on providing reliable and high-performance broadband service to areas in Wisconsin most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. By the November 2023 application deadline, the PSC received 124 applications requesting $221.6 million in funding—the highest ratio of requested funding to available funding for any broadband grant round since 2014. Award decisions will be made in 2024.
  • In December, the U.S. Department of the Treasury approved the state’s plans to utilize $140 million from the ARPA Capital Projects Fund for two additional grant programs, the Flexible Facilities Program and the Digital Connectivity and Navigators Program. The programs will support high-quality multi-purpose community facilities and help address high-speed internet access, affordability, and adoption across the state.
  • The PSC awarded nearly $10 million in Energy Innovation Grants to 32 energy-related projects throughout the state to increase the deployment of renewable energy and energy storage, support energy efficiency and demand response, bolster preparedness and resiliency in the energy system, and facilitate comprehensive energy planning.

Honoring Wisconsin’s Veterans 

  • The 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers increased funding by 25 percent for county veterans service offices and Tribal veterans service offices, which help veterans connect to benefits, preventative programming, and mental health resources. The budget also provided $2.5 million annually to support the state’s veterans homes, as needed, to ensure these vital facilities can retain staff, address building and operational needs, and provide top-quality care to veterans.
  • In January, Gov. Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) announced $424,970 in grants to 13 nonprofit organizations that provide financial assistance, entrepreneurship training, or other services to Wisconsin veterans and their families. 
  • Thanks to Gov. Evers $1.5 million investment of ARPA funds, the Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP) expanded from 12 to 16 regions, enabling the program to connect more veterans with housing, employment, mental health services, and more. In 2023, those working under VORP enrolled 473 veterans in the program, made 5,460 contacts with veterans seeking assistance across the state, and conducted 8,745 hours of case management services.
  • Despite the Legislature rejecting Gov. Evers’ proposal to increase funding for the program by $250,000 annually, DVA continued efforts under the Veteran Housing and Recovery Program, which provides temporary housing, training, and supportive services to military veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in order to help them obtain permanent housing. With three temporary housing facilities in Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, and Union Grove, the program provided temporary or emergency housing to nearly 400 veterans this year.
  • Gov. Evers and DVA announced the first round of Veteran Mental Health Community-Based Organization grants, which included 16 nonprofit organizations working to promote positive mental health through activities, programs, and services that enhance the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of Wisconsin veterans. These grants are part of Gov. Evers’ $10 million investment of federal ARPA funds to bolster veteran services. More information about the second round of these grants can be found here.
  • In November, DVA announced $474,407 in grants to seven organizations for the first round of two grant programs to directly subsidize mental healthcare for Wisconsin veterans. Funded by Gov. Evers’ $10 million ARPA investment in veteran services, the two programs include the Emergency Crisis Mental Health Grant, which will serve veterans with crisis or emergency mental health needs, and the Veteran Mental Health Ancillary Treatment Program Grant, which will support licensed providers in administering mental health services to veterans. More information about the second round of these grants can be found here.
  • Through the Veteran Rental Assistance Program that Gov. Evers created with ARPA funds, DOA assisted 566 veteran households with $2,073,927.

Protecting and Conserving Wisconsin’s Natural Resources 

  • Gov. Evers signed the 2023-25 budget, which built upon the governor’s work over the past four years to ensure Wisconsinites have access to clean water and included one of the first real and meaningful investments by Republican legislators to address PFAS contamination statewide. This budget provided:
    • $125 million to address and prevent PFAS contamination statewide;
    • $1 million to help private well owners clean up or replace contaminated wells;
    • $4 million for the Urban Nonpoint and Municipal Flood Control Program; and
    • $6.5 million for grants under the Targeted Runoff Management Program.     
  • The 2023-25 budget signed by Gov. Evers also made several investments in projects across the state that support the conservation and preservation of the state’s vast and valuable natural resources, including:
    • More than $5.6 million for state forests, parks, and riverway road maintenance and development;
    • Increased funding for urban forestry grants by $350,000 over the biennium; and 
    • $400,000 for county forest administrator grants and $100,000 for county sustainable forestry grants. 
  • While the 2023-25 budget provided $125 million to address and prevent PFAS contamination statewide, this fund is effectively controlled by the Republican-controlled Joint Committee on Finance, who have, since the signing of the budget, obstructed the release of these funds. In December, Gov. Evers directed the DNR to submit a formal request to the JFC to release these already-approved funds to ensure impacted communities can work to address contamination and reduce their exposures to PFAS. In addition to calling for the release of $125 million to address PFAS statewide, Gov. Evers also urged lawmakers to take legislative action to empower the DNR to continue their work to create standards for PFAS contamination in groundwater through the rulemaking process.
  • In October, Gov. Evers and the DNR announced more than $402 million has been allocated for financial assistance through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program to 106 municipalities to improve drinking water quality for Wisconsinites. The funding will help municipalities across the state construct needed water infrastructure projects, including replacing lead service lines and addressing emerging contaminants such as PFAS, with a special focus on small and disadvantaged communities.
  • In December, Gov. Evers and the DNR announced more than $414 million has been allocated for financial assistance through the Clean Water Fund Program to 84 municipalities to improve their wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. The funding will help municipalities across the state construct needed water infrastructure, including projects that reduce phosphorus discharges and address aging equipment, with a focus on small and disadvantaged communities.
  • The DNR’s Surface Water Grant Program awarded over $6.5 million in grant funding to nonprofit organizations, lake associations, and municipalities throughout Wisconsin working to restore and protect the state’s surface water resources now and into the future.
  • Gov. Evers and WisDOT announced approximately $24 million in federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds to support 18 local projects in Wisconsin that include smart traffic signals, electric buses, and multi-use trail extension.
  • The DNR announced that the state has entered into a contract to establish the nation’s first market-based water quality trading clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is an innovative solution to water quality issues that compensates farmers and landowners, saves wastewater facilities money, and protects Wisconsin’s water resources.
  • Leading up to Earth Day in April, Gov. Evers signed Executive Order #195, creating the Green Ribbon Commission on Clean Energy and Environmental Innovation to advise on creating the state’s first-ever Green Innovation Fund. The Green Innovation Fund and its partners will leverage public and private financing to invest in projects that provide environmental and clean energy solutions to businesses, reduce pollution, lower energy costs for families, and expand access to clean, affordable energy options.
  • In April, Gov. Evers and the DNR announced that more than 12.9 million trees were planted and more than 2,000 acres of forestland were conserved in Wisconsin in 2022, bringing the state’s total number of trees planted to more than 22.2 million since Gov. Evers committed to the Trillion Tree Pledge in 2021.
  • The DNR, DHS, and Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) announced a new PFAS toolkit to assist community leaders and elected officials in understanding their options for addressing PFAS contamination in drinking water. The PFAS toolkit provides background information about PFAS in public and private drinking water, options to consider when PFAS are found, and how to contact state agencies to request assistance.
  • Gov. Evers signed Assembly Bill 65, now 2023 Wisconsin Act 5, a bipartisan bill to support farmers and producers in protecting watersheds across the state by expanding eligibility for producer-led watershed protection grants.
  • In celebration of Pollinator Week, the DNR announced that seven state park properties will receive funding from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin to enhance pollinator habitat, including Aztalan State Park, Brunet Island State Park, Chippewa Moraine State Recreation Area, Hank Aaron State Trail, Harrington Beach State Park, Pattison State Park, and Peninsula State Park.
  • Gov. Evers announced $1.4 million in grants to support economic development, protect and improve Great Lakes resources, and create resiliency in Wisconsin’s coastal communities. The 34 grants are administered by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program to be used by local, state, and Tribal governments, regional planning commissions, universities, and nonprofit organizations to assist with projects totaling over $3.4 million.
  • The DNR announced the acquisition of 1,830 acres adjacent to Princes Point Wildlife Area in Jefferson County, nearly doubling the size of the state property and allowing for the completion of several planned wetland restoration projects.
  • The DNR has awarded more than 46 percent of Gov. Evers’ $10 million expanded Well Compensation and Abandonment Grant Programs to 370 grantees statewide, including the replacement of 207 contaminated wells, the treatment of 43 contaminated wells, and the sealing of 120 unused, abandoned wells. Of the total number of contaminated wells, 189 were contaminated with nitrate and 61 were contaminated with PFAS, arsenic, and fecal bacteria.
  • Gov. Evers and the state’s Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy released the Clean Energy Plan Progress Report, highlighting accomplishments in the year since the release of the state’s first-ever Clean Energy Plan. The report outlines efforts taken to lower energy bills and prices for working families, promote energy independence by reducing reliance on out-of-state energy sources, lay the groundwork for creating an estimated 40,000 jobs by 2030, and invest in job training and apprenticeship programs in innovative industries and technologies. Gov. Evers and the PSC announced new and historic clean energy programs, which will make approximately $20 million available to upgrade and strengthen energy infrastructure in the state, helping to ensure critical access to secure, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy while accelerating the state’s clean energy economy. 
An online version of this release is available here.