September 22, 2017

Volume 3 Issue 21


State Representative Janel Brandtjen

As everyone is already aware, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed the 2017-19 biennial budget. The budget contained a variety of items, and I have described the document as having some good features, as well as some bad ones. I believe that the budget simply left too many opportunities on the cutting room floor. As I stated in my last newsletter, Republicans compromised with themselves, and the taxpayers of Wisconsin weren't as fully represented as they should have been. 

The budget was also passed in the Senate, but not before a small group of conservative senators held out for a better deal for Wisconsin. These senators voted yes after Governor Walker agreed to use his veto pen to make some changes that would make the budget a bit more palatable for conservatives. Those vetoes have been released and the requested vetoes are as follows:

1. Prevailing Wage - After years of waiting for the Republican-led government to repeal prevailing wage, the wait is over. The repeal takes effect immediately.

2. Energy Efficient Projects - School districts didn't need to budget for energy efficient projects, they simply exceeded the revenue limit. The budget had a one year moratorium on the practice. The Governor made it permanent. 

3. Federal Swap - This provision allows the DOT to manipulate federal match dollars with certain projects so that we can minimize some of the federal mandates that are attached to these dollars. The budget provided only for a study on the consolidation of highway funds. The Governor's veto allows the Federal Swap provision to be enacted immediately. 

4. School Referendum - The Governor used a partial veto that will limit school districts' ability to go to referendum. School districts will no longer be allowed to hold a referendum election on dates, such as the spring primary, where turnout is sometimes as low as 6%. Referendums will now occur only during regular scheduled general elections.

5. State Transportation Projects Commission - The budget contained a provision that would create a Transportation Projects Commission. The Governor vetoed that provision. However, he already has instructed the DOT to create an office of the Inspector General which will provide a great deal of needed accountability to the Department of Transportation.

These five provisions that were agreed upon by three conservative senators certainly make the budget much better. These changes would have gone a long way to moving my vote towards a yes. The Governor also added a few additional vetoes as well.   

Read the veto summary here

Read the budget summary here     

God Bless Wisconsin!



Moving Wisconsin Forward










 State Capitol Room 221 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367

Facebook:                                                                                                                                                                                   Twitter: @RepJanel