Governor Jim Doyle is set to sign the state budget Friday, an action which will finally give the state a two year spending plan, after months of haggling by legislators. But the event is likely to be overshadowed by a legal challenge to a key component of the budget: the group representing Wisconsin’s physicians is going to the mat, over a raid on the patients compensation fund.
Attorney Tom Pyper says the fund transfer is unconstitutional. “It’s like running the government by a citizen who can’t make ends meet,” says Pyper. “And in this case, the ultimate result was, we should rob a bank.” Once the ink is dry on the governor’s signature on the budget, Pyper will sue the state on behalf of the Wisconsin Medical Society . “If $200 million, a quarter of the assets of this fund, are taken, the ultimate result is going to be substantial increases in the contribution levels of health care professionals.” Pyper compares the fund grab to a similar action in 1987. The state raided employee trust funds, an action that was ultimately rejected in court.