Key state budget negotiations could take place this weekend behind closed doors, and one government watchdog group says that's a bad idea.
Formal action to craft the final state spending plan won't take place until next week, but there's nothing stopping lawmakers from discussing deals before then. Wisconsin Democracy Campaign executive director Mike McCabe says it's just more of the same, with public action being more ceremonial and the lion's share of budget talks happening behind closed doors.
McCabe says secret talks to resolve differences between the Senate and Assembly budget plans only harm lawmakers by making the public question the policies and spending decisions that make it into the final plan.
Now, more than ever, McCabe says the doors should be open. He says the public should have a chance to see what's going into the $63 billion plan, which needs to help close a record budget deficit for the state. McCabe says the public has a right to know how deals are being made.