State Budget Update


July 9, 2015

Contact Me

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

PH: (608) 266-0631
TF: (888) 534-0094
FAX: (608) 282-3694

District/Law Office
1230 Ferry Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
(608) 785-1886
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Legislative Committees

Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions - Ranking Member

Assembly Committee on Insurance - Ranking Member

Assembly Committee on Tourism

Assembly Committee on
Small Business Development

Joint Review Committee on Criminal Penalties




Remember on Tuesday when I mentioned that “fireworks” were going to happen in the Legislature as the budget debate continues? Well, that joke became a little too real on Wednesday when the entire State Capitol was evacuated because of a bomb threat right in the middle of the Assembly’s debate on the budget. Thanks to the Capitol Police, the building was secured and everything is safe. Only the Assembly went a little late last night as we tried to make up the two hours we lost during the evacuation.

After hours of debate, the Assembly passed the budget. We had a chance in this budget to reaffirm our commitment to K-12 education and to help our public schools continue their important work of educating future generations. I really wanted the opportunity to work with my colleagues of the majority party to create a budget that accurately reflects the common sense values of Western Wisconsin, particularly in regard to education. I heard from teachers, superintendents, parents, and school board members who all expressed their concerns.

Unfortunately, even uncontroversial amendments that we offered were simply rejected out of hand.


We introduced an amendment to allow young people with student loan debt to refinance their loans just like people with a mortgage, but it was defeated. We introduced a package of amendments that would bring much needed reform to the struggling Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), but they were defeated.

We pushed for Wisconsin to finally take the federal Medicaid dollars that we have paid in so that we could expand BadgerCare and use the money to help fund so many important programs that were cut under the budget (like K-12 education and the UW System). But this was defeated. We tried to keep our state from charging our road construction costs to the credit card, but this was defeated. We argued to restore local control to our communities where our local officials are closer to the people, but this was defeated.

We introduced a number of proposals designed to undo the harm to public education, from restoring the current teacher licensing requirements and limiting the use of vouchers to indexing school funding to inflation and holding all schools that receive public funding to the same standards of accountability. But I guess you know where I’m going with this one. They were all defeated.

It’s a sad day in Wisconsin when we can’t even come together for the best interest of our children. Because of my commitment to protecting quality education in Wisconsin, I had no choice but to vote against this budget. I joined every Democrat and 11 Republicans in doing so.

So where does that leave us now? A little sleep deprived to be honest.

I’ve heard from a lot of people in the last 48 hours expressing their frustration that there is nothing more to be done to try to fix some of the most harmful aspects of the budget. There is one more step left in the budget process – the Governor. Wisconsin’s Governor has broad veto powers that he can use to strike passages or even phrases before he signs it into law.

I urge you to contact the Governor with your thoughts on the budget – things you like and things you don’t like.

Office of the Governor Scott Walker
115 East Capitol
Madison, WI 53702
(608) 266-1212

After 156 days and 15 budget updates, things are winding down in the State Capitol. We will be in recess until the September floor period. During this break, my colleagues and I will be getting back to the work of regular legislation: drafting bills, helping our constituents, and ensuring that our state continues to be a wonderful place to live.

This budget did not include even a few sprinklings of bipartisanship that I had hoped it would but that does not mean that I am done fighting for you down in Madison. I’ll be hard at work every day and I encourage you to reach out to me if you have a question, problem or opinion on any state issue. My door is always open.

This might be the last of my budget updates and I’ll go back to sending out monthly updates. I’ve enjoyed getting to put these together to help you understand this complicated and ever changing budget process and I’m grateful to many of you who have responded to these updates.





State Representative

94th Assembly District



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