Jun 30, 2011
Governor Signs State Budget
The state budget signed by Gov. Walker over the weekend did not include any partial vetoes related to the state Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement (PACE) Program. Therefore, the changes to the PACE Program voted on by the Legislature will now become law. The final version of the state budget also preserved other key elements of the Working Lands Initiative.
Thank you for working so hard to protect PACE and other key components of the state's Working Lands Initiative. Dozens of you reached out to lawmakers, the governor and other key leaders to voice strong grassroots support for farmland protection in Wisconsin.
The budget as signed:
- Keeps PACE on the books, but orders a one-year study of the program by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
- Funds the first 16 accepted PACE applications using $5.2 million in bonding authority from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund.
Other critical components of the state's farmland preservation program maintained in the budget include requiring counties to update their farmland preservation plans. Grant money is available to assist them with their plan updates. The budget also provides $27 million in farmland preservation tax credits to Wisconsin farmers when they meet their conservation responsibilities.
Unfortunately, the budget eliminates the conversion fee for rezoning land out of farmland preservation zoning districts.
The final version of the state budget, which includes these provisions, can be found on the Legislature's web site.