The Legislature's Finance Committee kicks off its biennial budget road show today. Panel Co-chair Mark Miller says six public hearings will be held around the state over the next two weeks. Miller says the committee expects to hear a lot of concerns about health care costs, as more people lose their jobs. Also, from those who oppose tax increases in Governor Jim Doyle's $63 billion dollar budget plan.
"We will hear about the hard times people are experiencing," says Miller. "I think we will hear a lot about health care. The availability of health care has really been affected by the downturn in the economy, as people have lost their jobs and as employers have cut back in offering health care benefits."
"Most people look to state government to help provide solutions to the challenges they face," says Miller. "They'd love for us to be able to do it without raising their taxes, so that really puts us in a quandary. Demand for more services and a demand for less taxes. Those things are not compatible."