Speed and Secrecy versus Deliberative Democracy
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
“All your work has made a real difference,” Linda, my staffer, told Mrs. Gifford. She and her husband traveled to Madison to personally deliver letters to every Senator.
“Well, aren’t you nice,” Mrs. Gifford responded. “You just made my day!”
Twenty-eight minutes before the vote on a bill that would make significant changes in high capacity well rules, the Senate Agriculture, Small Business and Tourism committee clerk came to my office and said that bill was removed from the list to be voted out of committee.
As he left our office, he passed Barbara Gifford and her husband Jim who came to ask me to vote against the bill. For the moment, it looked like the Giffords were successful.
Senate Bill 239 is one of three bills that would alter the way Wisconsin grants permits to drill a high capacity well – a well that pumps 70 or more gallons per minute of groundwater. The bill prevents the DNR from reviewing existing high-cap well permits making them approved forever.