JFC Agency Briefings - Wednesday, March 29th, 2017
The JFC heard from the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Department of Children and Families (DCF), the Department of Revenue (DOR), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
- Committee members questioned the Attorney General on the use of private attorneys for the redistricting case that may be heading to the US Supreme Court.
- The AG testified about plans to test two-thirds of the 6,000 untested sexual assault evidence kits in Wisconsin.
- Committee members also questioned spending $10,000 on challenge coins with the new DOJ motto “KAED,” which stands for “Kicking Ass Every Day.”
- The Secretary spoke about some of the problems at the King veterans home and discussed what his agency is doing to remedy the situation.
- Committee members questioned the secretary about the 64,000 people who lost food stamps benefits because they did not meet the new work requirement.
- The secretary also defended the Governor’s decision to turn down the federal Medicaid expansion money.
- The secretary discussed the Governor’s proposed “Wisconsin Works for Everyone” program which would expand the job search requirement to parents of school age children who receive food stamps.
- Committee members expressed concerns about the Governor’s proposal to hire twelve new state tax collectors. Some members are concerned that this would be an undue burden on businesses.
- Members are also skeptical of the Governor’s proposal to create a sales tax holiday for back to school shopping. One committee member said it was a “gimmick” and would have little economic impact.
- Committee members continued to press the secretary for a long-term solution to funding Wisconsin’s transportation needs. The current budget continues the trend of borrowing instead of creating new revenue sources to help the state.
- In response to members of his own party advocating for raising the gas tax, the Governor tweeted that he will veto any gas tax increase.
- The secretary also acknowledged the findings of a recent audit that pointed out several serious problems in the DOT and said they would take steps to address those concerns.
- The secretary spoke about the Governor’s proposal to increase funding for Fab Labs and reinstating WEDC’s loan program.