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Water worries latest excuse for growing government 

Empower Wisconsin | Jan. 14, 2020 

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON — The Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality last week released its recommendations, which include 13 legislative proposals that will cost the taxpayer and grow the state’s mammoth bureaucracy.

It’s another win for big government, thanks in part to folks who claim they want limited government.

The package includes a bill to create the Office of Water Policy within the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. It comes at down payment cost of $150,000, which would launch the office and pay for a full-time staff member for the upcoming fiscal year.

The new unelected bureaucrat would be vested with new powers to coordinate efforts to “conserve, protect and enhance” the state’s water resources.

It all adds up to more regulation under a regulation-happy administration, and more costs to businesses, consumers, local governments and taxpayers?

The bipartisan task force, chaired by state Rep. Todd Novak (R-Dodgeville), applauded itself for its year’s worth of work.

Novak has said ensuring that Wisconsin has clean water is not a “Republican or Democrat issue.” True. No one who is currently sane is arguing against protecting this essential natural resource.

But big government types are loathe to let a good “crisis” pass without grabbing more taxpayer cash to “fix it’ — even if they have to invent one.

While poor water quality in parts of the state is a legitimate concern, expanding the administrative state isn’t the way to solve it. Let’s hope limited-government conservatives put the brakes on it.

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