Representative Klenke - "State's Safety Net Dependent Upon Economic Growth" 02.11.13

In my role as your representative, I am often asked to increase spending on programs that support our social safety net.  This is especially true in my new role on the Joint Finance Committee.  This update identifies a proposal by Governor Walker to increase spending on the state’s mental health programs.  I intend to support this worthwhile proposal.

I also intend to support the second subject of this update, iron ore mining in Wisconsin.  This may disappoint some of you, but I want to make the point that it is not sustainable to ask for more spending on the social safety net while denying a large opportunity for job creation not only in an area of the state desperately in need of jobs, but also for businesses and citizens across Wisconsin. 

The social safety net and economic activity are inextricably linked!  To deny economic growth is to deny the State’s ability to support much of the spending in the budget.

My attitude however, is not development at any cost.  I support the mine because I have talked with employees of the DNR, not Walker appointees, which have overseen mining in Wisconsin.  They take great pride in their responsibilities of protecting Wisconsin’s resources.  They believe we can mine safely under this bill.  I also have confidence in the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA and the myriad of other federal and state agencies that will maintain intense oversight of the activities leading up to the granting of a permit, mining operations, and the reclamation process.

Please continue to email with your thoughts