March 24, 2017

Volume 3 Issue 8

State Representative Janel Brandtjen

Regular Audits will provide needed feedback

Every successful CEO uses the audit process to move their respective companies forward. Audits can be used to periodically dissect the methods their department heads are using and look for efficiencies that can help keep the company competitive. It is time the State of Wisconsin utilizes this simple technique. I have introduced a budget motion to require quadrennial audits of the Departments of Transportation, Public Instruction, Corrections and Health Services by our non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB). Every four years the LFB will audit one of these departments. The information collected by these periodic audits will provide a window for the legislature to identify wasteful practices, eliminate unnecessary personnel, and increase efficiencies. The audits should not be perceived as punishment but rather as a tool to address strengths and weaknesses.   

 

Governorís Budget Ė Public Instruction (K-12 education) 

Energy Efficiency Exemption    

It is settled science that the Governor has put Wisconsin in a great position going forward.  Bonding is down, taxes are down, our retirement fund is fully funded and we have a rainy day cushion. 

The Governor has some positive things in his budget regarding public instruction.  There is a little known, but widely used loophole that allows school districts to levy money over their revenue limits.  Itís called the energy efficiency exemption and it allows school to fund projects like replacing boilers by exceeding their revenue limits.  From 2009 until 2015 there has been $138 million spent on these types of projects.  The growing practice is for school districts to spend the money that would have originally been spent for energy efficient projects on other wants and needs and then exceed the revenue limits for any qualifying project.  The Governor has proposed to eliminate the loophole.

 

Urban Revitalization Committee

The committee spent Thursday in Green Bay where we toured the Boys and Girls Club as well as held our first committee hearing.  Green Bay has some of the same problems shared by every larger sized city in the country.  Homelessness and mental health seem to be at the forefront of these issues.  I was especially impressed with the work being done at the Boys and Girls Club.  They offer mentoring, job preparation for older kids, utoring for classes and overall guidance for our impressionable youth.  Today (Friday) we are in Wausau for another Urban Revitalization Committee hearing and we are touring the Salvation Army.  

        

 

God Bless Wisconsin!

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        The Boys and Girls Clubs do Wonderful Things!

      

 

 

 

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Rep.Brandtjen@legis.wisconsin.gov State Capitol Room 221 North- PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367