March 23, 2017
Lasee's Notes is a way for me to
communicate directly with you on key issues of our day
and to champion limited government, lower taxes, and individual liberty. How
to these issues today, will affect the direction of our state
and nation tomorrow.
I look forward to hearing from you about the issues of concern to you. Please feel free to contact me,
Sen.Lasee@legis.wisconsin.gov or (608) 266-3512. If you are planning to be
in Madison, please visit, I look forward to seeing you at the Capitol.
Continued: Wisconsin’s 2017-19 Budget Review
When people work in the public sector, they are entrusted by the people
who hired or elected them to take care of the public’s money. From the
President of the United States to town board members, watching over the
taxpayer’s money is one of the most important jobs we do.
Governor Walker, in his $76 billion
2017-19 state budget proposal,
meets this responsibility head on as he protects public money through
more program accountability and lends a hand up to those that truly need
it. As he’s said time and again, “Government
programs should act as a trampoline, not a hammock.” The clever
phrase proves to be more than just words as I review the first
draft of Wisconsin’s 2017-19 budget.
FoodShare is a program that’s consistently provoked overblown and
partisan exchanges. However, everyone should be able to get behind a new
pilot program that helps people help themselves.
Governor Walker proposes requiring able-bodied adults with kids over the
age of six to participate in the FoodShare Employment and Training
program (FSET). Under the program, while a kid is in school, their
parent is required to either be
working or receiving free job training for 80 hours a month. Free
job training to receive free food! Sounds like a win/win to me.
An important point is that this only applies to able-bodied adults:
adults between the ages of 18-50 who are physically and mentally fit,
and not pregnant. The new threshold is completely reasonable; again,
public assistance should be a
trampoline, not a hammock.
Nowadays, countless adults, many with kids, have to work more than 40
hours a week to support their families. Asking people to either work or
train for a future job 80 hours a month is fair and promotes the sense
of self-respect that comes from work. This pilot program is
a good starting point for getting
all able-bodied people to work.
SeniorCare, the popular prescription drug assistance program for
Wisconsinites 65 years and older, is fully funded in the 2017-19 state
budget proposal. Currently, there about 91,700 Wisconsin residents
participating in SeniorCare and members pay an annual $30 fee with the
level of coverage determined by income. Many of our oldest
Wisconsinites can fall through
Medicare and Medicaid's cracks at a time in their lives when medications
are most needed. It’s important that we
help fill in the cracks for
Wisconsin’s older citizens that have contributed greatly to
making Wisconsin a great place to live.
Both FoodShare and SeniorCare are small pieces of our
$76 billion budget pie.
There are many, many more programs and examples of seemingly small
changes that will have a big impact. Please share your thoughts and
ideas with me either by calling my office at (608) 266-3512, emailing me
or contact me through my website
What’s next in the budget process?
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC), the committee who reviews and makes
changes to the state budget, is set to hold
from agency heads about the governor’s 2017-19 proposed budget March
28-30 at the capitol in Madison.
All the briefings can be viewed live and recorded at
Below is JFC’s schedule for the briefings:
Tuesday, March 28th 9:00am
Department of Administration, Budget Overview
DOA Budget Provisions (including Building Commission and Budget Management
and Compensation Reserves)
Department of Employee Trust Funds (including self-insured group health
Supreme Court (including the Circuit Courts, Court of Appeals, Judicial
Council, and Judicial Commission)
Department of Corrections
Department of Safety and Professional Services
Wednesday, March 29th 9:00am
Department of Veteran Affairs
Department of Health Services
Department of Children and Families
Department of Revenue (including Shared Revenue, Property Tax Relief,
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Department of Transportation
Department of Justice
Thursday, March 30th 9:00am
Public Service Commission
Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Technical College System
University of Wisconsin System
Department of Public Instruction
Department of Workforce Development
Labor and Industry Review Commission
After the briefings, JFC has
scheduled six public hearings all over Wisconsin. If you are
unable to attend one of the six public hearings they will be shown live
Here is the committee’s public hearing schedule:
Monday, April 3 – UW-Platteville, Platteville
Wednesday, April 5 – State Fair Park,
Friday, April 7 – Berlin High School,
Tuesday, April 18 – Spooner High School,
Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High
Friday, April 21 – Marinette High
If you are unable to make one of the public hearings but would still
like the JFC committee to know your thoughts on the 2017-2019 state
click here to view contact information for the 16 JFC members.