March 26, 2021

Limiting Government Overreach

We have been busy in Madison with the legislature passing multiple measures aimed at protecting both taxpayers and personal liberties.

Truth in Spending Act

I was proud to vote in favor of the Truth in Spending Act, also known as Senate Bill 183. Simply put, this bill would allow for legislative oversight of the billions of federal COVID dollars coming to Wisconsin.

As you know, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan of 2021,” which among other things, allocated billions for the states. While I strongly oppose the outrageous amounts of spending approved in Washington, I do believe that the money must have legislative oversight and transparency as to how it is spent here in Wisconsin.

Currently, the allocation of these billions in taxpayer money are only decided by one person: Governor Evers. Therefore, both the Assembly and Senate passed legislation that would allow for legislative oversight and public input as to how the money is spent. Without this bill, I fear that too much of this one-time money will go toward expanding government with new programs or be skewed towards Madison and Milwaukee while our communities lose out.

Now, this is not an uncommon practice – more than half of states nationwide have similar legislative input (see graphic below). Nor is it a partisan idea – in 2009, the Democratic-controlled legislature passed a bill requiring legislative oversight of funds received by the state from the Obama stimulus package. In fact, our bill is modeled on the very bill passed by Democrats.


Protecting Personal Liberties

The legislature also passed bills aimed at protecting personal liberties. This included legislation that would prohibit the government from requiring mandatory COVID vaccines or employers requiring it to work. While I encourage everyone to get a vaccine, I do not believe the government should force it upon people against their wishes. We also passed a bill that would ensure the freedom to worship by prohibiting the government from closing churches. Finally, we approved a measure that would require Governor Evers to develop a plan for state employees to return to work. Unfortunately, we just received word that the governor vetoed this common sense piece of legislation.

Tax Deadlines Extended

Recently, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) extended the state tax filing deadline from April 15, 2021 to May 17, 2021. This now matches the updated federal tax deadline, which was recently extended. For more information, go to the DOR website:
https://www.revenue.wi.gov/Pages/News/2021/Tax-Season-Deadline-Extended.pdf

Blood Drive April 6th

The Lake Geneva Jaycees will be holding a blood drive on April 6th. Please consider donating.




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Rep.August@legis.wi.gov
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State Capitol Room 119 West
PO Box 8952 Madison, WI 53708

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