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Joint Committee on Finance - Budget Action - April 15
The State Legislature’s budget writing committee, the Joint Committee on Finance, began its work to make changes to the Governor’s budget proposal on April 15th.  Following agency briefings and statewide public hearings on the Governor’s proposals, the Committee is now working to make modifications to the bill based upon the input we have received. 
Before the Committee’s first executive session, the co-chairs announced that a number of non-fiscal policy items would be removed from the budget bill.  Although these issues could be revisited later during the legislative process, at this time the provisions identified by the co-chairs are no longer part of the budget bill.  The policy items removed included the proposals to shift responsibility for property assessments from town, village, and city governments to county governments and to change the roles of the Natural Resources Board and DATCP Board to advisory councils. 
In other action, the Committee acted to:
  • Provide additional grant funding for broadband expansion in underserved areas of the state,
  • Require the Public Service Commission to conduct a review of studies relating to the health effects of those living near wind turbines,
  • Restore the Judicial Council, which is an advisory panel charged with bringing forward suggestions on improving Wisconsin’s court system, and
  • Maintain the current independence of the Judicial Commission, which is responsible for determining the discipline of judges, rather than moving the Commission under the Supreme Court.