February 14, 2016

Budget hearings get under way this week

Public hearings on the new state budget start this week, with a total of four on the docket.

The public gets a chance to give their two cents worth as lawmakers on the budget writing panel review the governor’s two-year budget proposal. “I think we’ll have a lot of input on a lot of different things, but I expect education to be a big issue … transportation … health care.”

Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) says hearings will be held in all four corners of the state, with each starting at 10 am. “We’ll do our best to listen to everybody … two minutes per person.”

The finance committee plans to hear testimony starting on Thursday in Greendale. Other hearings will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin Dells, and Baldwin in the far western part of the state.

Minority Democrats say that’s not enough, and they’ll hold their own meetings.

Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) is having five town hall meetings in western Wisconsin to discuss the state budget, saying “the two-year budget affects you in ways you may never have imagined.”

After the hearings, the budget committee will start making revisions to the budget. Once adopted, the full legislature will act on it. Final approval is expected by June 30.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:30

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