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As I See It

Stop billing taxpayers for lawmaker’s travels

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It is, in comparison to other state spending, a drop in the bucket. But it still isn’t right. Wisconsin taxpayers should not have to foot the bill when our elected officials feel the need for a road trip. But we are. Newly released records show Wisconsin taxpayers have spent in excess of $100,000 since 2015 to send our lawmakers on trips out of state. 29 Republican state representatives and 14 Democratic state reps biled you and I for their travels. We sent some of them to Washington to see President Trump’s first address to Congress, others to see Paul Ryan get sworn in as Speaker of the House. All told there were 84 trips that we paid for. And we didn’t even get a lousy t-shirt. It is fine that our lawmakers want to travel, but they should do so on their own dime, not our’s. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who ran up the biggest travel tab, defends billing taxpayers, saying it is important for lawmakers to “facilitate bipartisan practices” when crafting legislation. Which given the lack of bipartisanship in Madison is laughable, but unfortunately not funny.

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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