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As I See It

Finally, policy items removed from WI budget



The sudden shift toward good government in Madison is hard to overstate. Republican leadership in the legislature has done something that is quite rare. They removed all non-fiscal items from the state budget Governor Walker has proposed. It has become commonplace in Madison for Governors to insert their pet projects into a budget. That is a safe move politically, because budgets are voted up or down. An idea, like the one Governor Walker proposed to reduce the time students have to spend in the classroom, does not belong in a budget document. But Governors like to put things like that there, because then they are not subject to public hearings as they would if they had to stand on their own merits. Stripping the budget of non-fiscal items hasn’t happened in Madison in 14 years. And at that time, republican legislators pulled the items from the budget proposed by a Democratic governor. That was a power play. This is good public policy. If they don’t relate to spending our tax dollars, they don’t belong in a state budget. If the ideas the Governor has proposed are so good, they should be able to withstand public debate and public hearings. This was a bold move by Republican leadership, and we hope it will be the new standard for future budgets in Madison.

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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