Evers calls special session to act on farm bills

MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Tony Evers today signed an executive order calling the Legislature into a special session to take up a package of bills aimed at Wisconsin's agriculture industry.

The special session is scheduled for Tues., Jan. 28.

Evers also signed signed an executive order creating a Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity, according to a news release from the governor's office.

“We're known as America's Dairyland, but unfortunately, as too many families across our state know firsthand, our state continues to face challenges that we must work quickly to address,” Evers said. “Our state has relied on the resilience and dedication of our farmers for generations, and in this state, nobody carries the burden alone. We need to be better partners for our farmers, agricultural industries, and rural communities. So, today I am proud to be unveiling my three-pronged plan to start addressing these challenges, starting with a special session of the Legislature to get to work on this issue right away.”

Evers earlier told the Associated Press that he is confident that the Republican-controlled Legislature will quickly approve an $8.5 million package of bills he will introduce in the special session.

Evers also dismissed criticism from Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos that the proposals show he has ignored rural Wisconsin before now.

Evers calls that criticism “baloney.” He says Republicans and Democrats need to work together for the farmers. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he is ”all ears" on the plan.

Executive Order #64 calls the Legislature to act on the following bills: 

  • LRB-5420/LRB-5439 relating to: grants to dairy processing plants and making an appropriation.
  • LRB-5413/LRB-5433 relating to: providing planning assistance to farmers and making an appropriation.
  • LRB-5416/LRB-5436 relating to: farm to school grants and making an appropriation. 
  • LRB-5419/LRB-5438 relating to: regional farmer support for stress and mental illness and making an appropriation.
  • LRB-5424/LRB-5440 relating to: creating a Small Farm Diversity grant program, providing an exemption from emergency rule procedures, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation. 
  • LRB-5449/LRB-5450 relating to: county-based agriculture positions in the Division of Extension of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and making an appropriation. 
  • LRB-5412/LRB-5432 relating to: promoting production of value-added agricultural products; creating an organic farming education grant program, a grazing education grant program, and a farm to fork grant program; providing resource conservation technical assistance; granting rule-making authority; and making an appropriation.
  • LRB-5414/LRB-5434 relating to: the Wisconsin Initiative for Dairy Exports and making an appropriation.

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