Governor Walker and Legislative Republicans Break Budget Promises Again Print
State & Local
Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
Monday, 06 April 2015 16:58

assembly-bitter-debateBudget proposal loaded with policy items, segregated fund raids and tax increases.


MADISON – Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans are quickly backtracking from their promises to strip policy and pork projects from the state budget, end the practice of segregated fund raids and oppose tax and fee increases after the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released a series of updated memos. These reports revealed that the 2015-17 Republican budget contains 49 non-fiscal policy items, raids segregated funds, and increases taxes and fees.

49 non-fiscal policy provisions are included in the Republican budget according to an LFB memo dated April 6th. The list includes proposed changes to the taxpayer-subsidized private voucher school program and the removal of citizen oversight at the Department of Natural Resources.

“Governor Walker says one thing on the campaign trail and does another in the Capitol,” said Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison). “This is Walker’s third budget that includes non-fiscal policy, raids segregated funds, increases taxes and fees, and breaks the promises he made to Wisconsin.”

“Of course, my Democratic colleagues and I will work to remove the many policy provisions that have nothing to do with the state budget. Governor Walker consistently demonstrates a willingness to sidestep the legislative process to advance the wishes of special interest groups,” said Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee).

“Policy items that strip citizen oversight at the Department of Natural Resources should be taken up by the legislative committees that study these issues and should not be hidden in the state budget,” added Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh). “Committees provide transparency and are able to bring in experts and community members for an open discussion on these proposals.”

“Republicans control the Legislature and the Governor’s office and can pass these provisions as stand-alone bills,” added Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). “Keep the promise to the people of Wisconsin and do the right thing by removing policy items from the budget.”

In addition to the policy report, two LFB memos released on March 16, 2015 revealed Gov. Walker’s proposed segregated fund raids and middle class tax increases. The Republicans proposed 2015-17 biennial budget raids over $302 million in segregated fund dollars and raises taxes and fees by $48 million.