Guest Column from Rep. Jim Steineke
Budget Process Needs Public Input
March 12, 2015

As the state budget’s public-input process begins, the State Legislature wants to know the top priorities for hard-working families all across our state. This is an important time in the budget process as we work to align the budget’s priorities with those of the people of Wisconsin.

There are several ways in the next few weeks to make your voice heard on the state budget bill. Starting next week, the Joint Finance Committee is visiting four cities state to gather information and input from the public in order to make changes to the budget. This is an important opportunity for anyone who has opinions about the state budget to come and testify either for or against a policy item, or simply for information only. The public hearing schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, March 18 (10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
Brillion High School
Endries Performing Arts Center
W1101 County Road HR
Brillion, WI 54110

Friday, March 20 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
Alverno College
Pitman Theatre
3400 South 43rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53234

Monday, March 23 (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
University of Wisconsin-Barron County
Fine Arts Theatre
1800 College Drive
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Thursday, March 26 (9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)
Reedsburg High School
CAL Center Auditorium
1100 South Albert Avenue
Reedsburg, WI 53959

If you can’t attend the public hearings, you can still share your thoughts with Joint Finance Committee members by sending an email to BudgetComments@legis.wisconsin.gov. The email address will be functional through the entire time of the public hearing process, ending on Friday, March 27th. Anything sent to this address will be delivered to every member of the Joint Finance Committee.

Two other helpful services you can utilize are Wisconsin Eye (WisEye.org) which broadcasts all public hearings and the Legislature's Electronic Notification System which offers immediate budget updates. This is located on the legislative home page, legis.wisconsin.gov.

Lastly, my 2015 Spring Survey is one more way for you to share your opinions on pertinent issues and the budget. My survey is available online at RepSteineke.com. I also send weekly e-updates with the latest budget developments, which you can sign up for on my website.

I hope that you’ll take some time to communicate your views and utilize the many options available to keep track of the state budget. As always, my office is available at 608-266-2418 and at Rep.Steineke@legis.wi.gov.