MADISON – Today, during the Joint Committee on Finance’s first executive session on the Governor’s budget, the committee rejected a motion offered by Democrats to remove all non-fiscal items from the proposal. Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee), Ranking Democrat on the committee offered the motion to remove the 49 items identified by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
“I am disappointed with my Republican colleague’s decision to vote against this friendly motion today,” said Taylor. “Traditionally, non-fiscal policy items are removed by the Joint Finance Committee and are considered as standalone legislation to be considered by the full legislature, through the normal process. Items like modifying educational standards and school accountability reports, or creating a board which could authorize new charter schools have no fiscal impact, and therefore no place in the budget.”
“Just today, Republican members on this committee argued that this proposal was no longer the Governor’s budget, but the legislature’s budget,” Taylor continued. “This forces me to ask: then why aren’t we making it ours? The Governor used this document to further his political ambitions, rather than invest in long term goals to help grow out state. I am shocked that my colleagues across the aisle would let the Governor railroad them with this budget that does not have their constituents at its core.”
The motion failed on a party line vote of 4-12. The committee will consider each proposal as a separate item during the coming weeks. Joint Finance Democrats will continue to offer motions to remove them from the budget.