Voted Against the State Budget
full Assembly passed the 2015-17 biennial budget by a vote of 52-46 late
Over the past
several months, I’ve heard from many of you about ways to improve our
state’s two-year spending plan and what I, as a legislator, should work to
prioritize. With your feedback, I truly believe that I’ve been effective in
taking the governor’s original proposal and making it better for the people
of southwest Wisconsin.
I’m pleased that this budget prioritizes our public schools and makes
a $200 million investment in our K-12 system. It also moves to save
SeniorCare, and ensures our ADRCs and IRIS are maintained for our most
While I am proud of the progress that my colleagues and I made in
improving this budget, I felt that ultimately I could not in good conscience
support its final passage.
Although there is a reduction in the amount of borrowing in this
budget, I continue to fear that our state’s transportation spending is on an
unsustainable path. With an aging infrastructure and a stagnant source of
transportation revenues, this budget does not go far enough in addressing
our state’s long-term transportation needs.
Many of you have also shared with me your concerns with the effects
that this budget will have on public education. As a parent of two, I
strongly believe that it’s our responsibility to ensure that our students,
whether in our K-12 system or in our universities, receive the support they
need to be successful. Sadly, I believe this budget falls short in this
As an independent voice for our community in the state legislature, I
will continue to work hard to represent your views in our state Capitol. The
input I received from many of you was crucial in helping me reaching this
decision, and I believe that my vote on this budget best reflects the views
of our district.
Regarding the Governor's Budget Vetoes
the state budget into law on Sunday, Governor Walker vetoed a number of
provisions within the two-year spending plan. Unfortunately, included in his
list of vetoes were a few programs that I had championed on behalf of our
We all know that there has been a dramatic uptick in the use of illicit
drugs in our community. Since Lafayette County is the only county in our
district that doesn’t belong to a drug task force to fight these crimes, I
was able to secure $100,000 in this budget to help the county combat this
epidemic. Citing the funding as a budget earmark in his veto message, the
governor’s office has indicated to me that they support the concept of this
program, but would like to see the funding provided through another avenue –
perhaps through the state Department of Justice. Although a setback, I’ll
continue to work with Lafayette Co. Sheriff Reg Gill to find a way to best
address this need.
To see a full listing of items vetoed from the state budget, click here:
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Free Traffic App
511 Wisconsin travel information
launches tool for better route planning.
to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), a
new free smart phone application has been launched that provides
statewide travelers with information on traffic incidents,
delays/backups, closures/detours, work zones, and weather-related road
conditions. The application is available on both Apple and Android
devices, and provides up-to-date traffic related information via traffic
alerts that can be programmed to align with your favorite travel areas.
Other features of the application include:
• Nearly 400 traffic camera live-feeds to view road conditions;
• Travel times and speeds for highly traveled routes;
• Road work information, to include dates and times of full closures and
lane restrictions; and
• Incident notifications.
To download the free application:
As safety is WisDOT’s top priority; users of the
app must acknowledge that use will not occur while operating a motor