June 27, 2011
Republicans Use Budget to Decrease Accountability, Transparency
Madison – Sen. Chris Larson (D–Milwaukee) denounced Governor Walker and his rubberstamp legislators for supporting a dishonest budget that the governor signed on Sunday and includes executive power grabs, less accountability, no-bid contracts and the appearance of political payback.
“This budget breaks a promise to people across Wisconsin,” said Sen. Larson. “You can’t have a state that is open for business if you turn off the lights of accountability and close the door on transparency.”
The Republican budget is brimming with special interest giveaways and sneaks nearly 80 non-fiscal policy items into what was promised to be a purely fiscal document. This budget unjustly included provisions to create a corporate slush fund without any oversight, rubberstamp DHS Secretary Smith’s ability to unilaterally make unspecified changes to Wisconsin’s Medical Assistance programs, and approve pay raises for unnamed Walker political appointees without legislative input.
“Wisconsinites have sought to preserve accountability and transparency in our government since the days of fighting Bob LaFollette,” said Sen. Larson. “This is illustrated by our laws requiring open meetings and records, checks and balances in our government structures, and disclosure for political campaign contributions.”
Sen. Larson and his Democratic colleagues introduced amendments to remove such dishonest provisions from the budget in order to ensure Wisconsin maintains its tradition of clean, open and transparent government. Unfortunately, Republicans voted down these amendments with little consideration for Wisconsin’s history.
“This corporate giveaway budget sends Wisconsin in the wrong direction,” said Sen. Larson. “We should be fighting to protect the rights of the people of this state, not wealthy, out-of-state corporations seeking political patronage.”