Wednesday - May 31, 2017 9:33 am

WI Legislature finally keeping policy items out of budget

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Perhaps they finally learned their lesson. Members of the Wisconsin Legislature have a history of stuffing non-spending items into the massive state budget. It is a way for them to get their pet projects passed without having to go through public hearings and other scrutiny. But perhaps that long trend is finally coming to an end. Leaders of the Legislature's finance committee say they want to keep policy items out of the spending document. In fact, the committee has already removed 83 non-spending items from the budget proposed by the Governor. And they say will work to stop any attempts to insert any of these items back into the budget before the final vote. That is a rare step, and certainly a good one. Among the Governor's proposals removed from the budget include efforts to do away with the minimum number of hours children need to be in school. Another Walker proposal would have allowed local governments to change how public notice is given of upcoming meetings. Such policies may have merit. But they don't belong in the budget. If they are such good ideas, they should be able to withstand more public scrutiny, not tucked into a massive spending plan that is only subject to an up or down vote.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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