Lasee's Notes
 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 we respond
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 at Sen.Lasee@legis.wisconsin.gov or contact me through my website www.SenatorLasee.com

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 briefings 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 www.wiseye.org.  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 plans)
Elections Commission
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, Lottery)
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
Historical Society
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 on www.wiseye.org.  Here is the committee’s public hearing schedule:

Monday, April 3 – UW-Platteville, Platteville
Wednesday, April 5 – State Fair Park, Milwaukee
Friday, April 7 – Berlin High School, Berlin
Tuesday, April 18 – Spooner High School, Spooner
Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth
Friday, April 21 – Marinette High School, Marinette

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 budget click here to view contact information for the 16 JFC members.



 
 

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Lasee's Notes, please feel free to contact me.

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State Capitol Room 316 South, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-3512
Email: Sen.Lasee@legis.wisconsin.gov