Rep. Shankland: Missed Opportunities in the State Budget

By WSAU News 

The State Assembly passed the state budget on Wednesday night, and State Representative Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), member of the budget writing Joint Finance Committee, says she believes there were many missed opportunities in this budget.

Rep. Shankland says the biggest missed opportunity in her opinion was transportation funding.

"Our roads continue to get worse and an audit showed that a large percentage of our roads are in poor condition," said Shankland. "Our roads are the second worst in the nation. So, if we don't find a funding source soon we're going to continue to pay even more every single year. That's not fiscally responsible."

Rep. Shankland also says she believes that conversations should've been taking place out in the public this entire summer.

She said, "Where the committee meets, democrats and republicans, to solve problems. But instead what happened, for two and a half months republicans met behind closed doors to negotiate with themselves and they were infighting. We need better leadership than that. We need to be able to work together to solve problems not bickering behind closed doors."

The budget is currently over 2 months late. Rep. Shankland says she believes a statutory deadline should be put into place to prevent this from happening to future budgets.

The Assembly passed the budget by a 57-39 vote with all democrats voting against it.

Senate Republicans were expected to meet on Thursday to try and rally for the votes needed to bring the budget to the floor.