29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally in Madison

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 10:10 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - Every year, leaders from Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls and Menomonie head to Madison to rally for the needs of the Chippewa Valley.

The Chippewa Valley Rally is put on by the Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance.

“It’s Menomonie, Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire getting together now for the 29th year to talk about economic issues that are important to our businesses and our communities,” said Scott Rogers with the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce.

Rogers says some of those topics include affordable housing, childcare and infrastructure. Another key issue is funding for UW-Eau Claire’s new health and health sciences building.

“It’s been included in the governor’s capital budget, so we wanted to make sure the legislature keeps that because it will have a big economic impact on our community,” said Rogers.

For local governments, one message they hope to share with lawmakers is a need for change to how communities pay their bills.

“Municipalities are all struggling to stay afloat and there’s opportunity now and being proposed by Governor Evers to offer us some relief and additional funding. It’s critical for us to convince them the importance of this,” said Eau Claire City Council President Terry Weld.

In his speech at the Chippewa Valley Rally, Governor Evers says he’s proposed one solution to this issue in his biennial budget plan.

“In my State of the State Address, I pledged my support for a budget provision to send 20 percent of our state sales tax revenue back to our communities for shared revenue,” said Gov. Evers.

Evers also says he proposes to spend more on education. He hopes this will prevent communities from having to continually turn to referendums to cover school costs.

The Chippewa Valley Rally also provided an opportunity for community leaders to hear from the heads of state agencies like the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Department of Administration.