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As I See It

Wisconsin Republicans show real backbone



It doesn’t happen often. Almost never in fact. So it is certainly notable that our politicians finally stopped marching in lockstep and actually showed they can think for themselves. It happened in Madison, where the Republican-controlled legislature told their boss what to do with his budget plan. The powerful Budget Committee didn’t just tweak Governor Walker’s budget, they eviscerated it. Walker’s plan for borrowing more money to pay for roads? Gone. Walker’s idea to eliminate minimum classroom time for our public schools? Gone. Making college professors spend more time in the classroom and less time in the research lab? Gone. In fact, nearly every policy item, not dealing with state spending, was stripped from Walker’s budget. This sets up quite a showdown between top Republicans in the legislature and Walker, who seems certain to seek a third term. He is no lame-duck. But republican leaders showed real backbone, demonstrating that non-spending items belong on the floor for debate, not tucked into the budget, where they are protected from public input. What will be next will certainly be interesting, but it is encouraging that finally, some politicians stood up for what is right, not just what their powerful bosses want them to do.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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