While attention was focused on the state budget process, progress is also being made on some on standalone legislation that matters to DBA members.
SB 91 would increase the prevalence of nutrient trading in Wisconsin. The legislation would create a clearinghouse for nutrient trades, allowing farms and farmer groups to bank credits for work they have already done. This gives the point sources that need to buy such credits a clearer idea of how many are available and at what price. It also takes aware the uncertainty over whether the point source can count on the water quality improvements happening. This bill would open up a new revenue stream for farms while also allowing for innovation and creativity in addressing our water quality concerns.
SB 91 has enjoyed broad bipartisan support and emerged out of committee in the Senate and was voted out of that chamber unanimously. Last month, the bill was heard before the Assembly Committee on Local Government. DBA was the only state agricultural group to testify in favor of the bill at both the Senate and Assembly committee hearings. It is unclear when the assembly vote will happen, but all indications are the governor will sign the legislation when it reaches his desk.