Wisconsin First- Fiscal Responsibility 

Cuba City, WI - Today State Representative Travis Tranel (R-49) testified before the Wisconsin Ways and Means Committee in support of his bill called the Wisconsin First - Fiscal Responsibility and Stability Fund Amendment. (AJR - 21) This bill would create a constitutionally protected “rainy day” fund in Wisconsin.

“Most families, farmers, and small business owners in the State of Wisconsin understand that there are good and bad economic cycles. When times are good they plan for the future and put a small amount of money aside for emergencies. Maybe there is an illness in the family, a piece of machinery breaks, someone loses a job, or sales drop off suddenly. Having a “rainy day” fund set aside for these tough times can help to weather the unexpected storm. It is common sense in my book,” said Tranel.

Currently, Wisconsin has a rainy day fund, but it has not been properly funded over the years. The politicians from both parties have not had the fiscal discipline or foresight to consistently set aside tax dollars in good economic times. This is why it is important that the fund be constitutionally protected and funded.

“I think that by working to pass a constitutionally protected rainy day fund today, we can prevent our state from finding itself in another very difficult financial situation in the future. As our state’s economy begins to grow, it is only prudent that we look at enacting serious long term budget reforms. I don’t want my kids and grandkids to have to go through the polarizing debates that we have seen taking place over the last few months up here at the capitol,” said Tranel.

Representative Tranel’s amendment creates a constitutionally protected rainy day fund by putting into place budgetary reforms to help ensure the ability of state government to weather future economic downturns.

It controls spending, stabilizes the state budget, and provides future property tax relief. The amendment is beneficial for the long term stability of our state and prevents us from having to make the very difficult and painful measures we are currently enacting to balance the state’s budget.

How it works:

•State tax collections in excess of 6.5 percent of state wide personal incomes are deposited into the Fiscal Responsibility Fund. If taxes are below that level, a small minimum deposit is made instead.

•During a recession, money can be withdrawn from the Fund to help balance the budget.

•Any accumulated balance over a set maximum must be returned as a property tax credit.

•The fund can only be tapped in a recession, or fiscal emergency with the approval of 2/3 of the legislature.
“Responsible budgeting and planning for the future is something that the citizens of my district told me that they wanted to see state government do,” said Tranel.

For more information on Representative Tranel’s bill please feel free to contact him at 608-266-1170 or Rep.Tranel@legis.wi.gov

Rep. Tranel represents the 49th Assembly District that includes all of Grant County, and parts of Richland, Iowa, and Lafayette Counties.