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Wednesday - June 14, 2017 9:04 am

Lawmakers and public should know what is in state budget

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The Wisconsin Legislature's Joint Finance Committee wields a lot of power. Perhaps too much power. This committee is responsible for tweaking the state budget Governor Walker proposed into a document that can win the support of the full legislature. There is a lot of wheeling and dealing going on in that committee, often times at the last minute. That leaves the public, and even other members of the legislature, in the dark as to just what the budget contains until it is time to cast a vote. That happened two years ago, when members of the Joint Finance Committee inserted language into the budget, late at night, heading into a holiday weekend, with no public notice, which called for gutting the state's open records laws. The public revolted, and some lawmakers were left to answer constituent complaints about something they knew nothing about. That could change. A group of lawmakers are proposing requiring more transparency during the budget process. Under their bill, at least 48 hours public notice would be required for any motions introduced to the budget-writing finance committee. They would have to be posted online for all to see. How could any lawmaker be against that? We should know just what is to be debated as part of the budget. We don't need any more last minute surprises.

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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