MADISON -- Late on Thursday, Governor Evers vetoed legislation co-authored by Representative James Edming (R-Glen Flora) that would have provided state assistance to support the purchase of the former Verso paper mill in Wisconsin Rapids and the Park Falls Pulp and Paper Mill in Park Falls.
“When the Verso paper mill closed last year the impacts were felt far outside the Wisconsin Rapids area,” said Rep. Edming. “This mill was a major customer for many timber professionals across the Northwoods and utilized approximately 25% of all the pulpwood harvested in Wisconsin. Getting this mill, as well as the one in Park Falls, back up and running is incredibly important for our state’s timber industry and the economy of northern Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Governor Evers refused to help our loggers when he vetoed this legislation.”
AB 367, which received bipartisan support in the legislature, would have utilized federal pandemic stimulus/relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide loans through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to assist with the purchase and reopening of the paper mills in Wisconsin Rapids and Park Falls.
“Time and time again Governor Evers has vetoed the legislature’s proposals of how to use federal relief funds,” said Rep. Edming. “Whether it’s investing in broadband expansion, rural economic development, or providing loans to reopen these paper mills, if the idea is in a bill authored by Republicans, the governor has rejected it. However, Governor Evers can still make things right. He can allocate these federal funds on his own, something he has had the power to do all along.”
The 87th Assembly District includes portions of Clark, Marathon, Rusk, Sawyer and Taylor Counties.