November 6, 2015

Volume 1 Issue 21

State Representative Janel Brandtjen:

Eliminating Fraud in Wisconsin:

This week we voted on a number of bills that will help to eliminate fraud in Wisconsin’s welfare system.  One measure limits the amount of replacement identification cards one can get within a 12 month period for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Another requires the SNAP card to have a photo. A third SNAP related bill would require a SNAP recipient to “use or lose” the benefits after a certain amount of time. Each of these bills will make committing welfare fraud a little tougher to do. Taxpayers provide assistance to those who are need of some help.  There have been too many reports about recipients selling SNAP cards for half their value and law enforcement frequently finds SNAP cards when raiding the homes of drug dealers. Certainly most families use their cards to help feed their families however we have an obligation to the taxpayers to minimize fraud.   MacIver Institute has a nice piece on the amount of fraud in Wisconsin. To read more, click here.

A fourth bill passed by the assembly dealt with unemployment insurance compensation. Those who provide false information on their application may not eligible for benefits for up to seven years.  In addition, those who are caught hiding wages are also subject to losing their eligibility for seven years. The state would also be permitted to recoup damages for either violation under the provisions of the bill.

$350 Million for Roads: DOT Must be More Efficient.

I am disappointed in how easily the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) voted to provide the Department of Transportation an additional $350 million. So much for the $132 million surplus we just applauded ourselves for.  The mechanism for providing the money was included in the biennial budget that the legislature passed this past summer so it came as no surprise that the money was allocated.

What should bother everyone is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that we will see an improvement in the way the State of Wisconsin meets its transportation needs. We must demand that all of Wisconsin’s agencies prioritize projects, streamline overhead and cut unneeded personnel. I believe the Department of Transportation would be a great place to start.  

The State of Wisconsin still has one of the highest gas tax rates in the country.  At 32.9 cents a gallon only 10 states have a higher tax. We also charge a $60 annual registration fee which is higher than most states.




      Wednesday November 11 - Remember to Thank a Veteran!


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