State Democrats introduce bill that would change how non-fiscal measures are processed
By Caissa Casarez, WKOW Madison
MADISON (WKOW) – Assembly Democrats want to make sure there are no more surprises in future state budgets.
In response to the Republicans passing a budget out of the Joint Finance Committee that included major changes to the state's open records law, the Democrats are introducing a bill that would require any non-fiscal measure like that to go through the normal process of a public hearing, a committee vote and then a vote in both the Assembly and Senate.
“We would have seen the governor's proposed changes to the Wisconsin Idea, which is a non-fiscal policy item, we would have seen that as a separate bill referred to a standing committee,” said Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point). “And legislators who were behind that would have had to answer to it.”
Democrats have also passed budgets with numerous non-fiscal policy items - as recently as 2009 - but this would end that practice.
Republicans have already said they would scrap the open records portion of the budget after a strong public backlash.