Lawmakers and the public would have an easier time identifying earmarks in the state budget, under legislation being considered at the state Capitol. The bill from state Senator Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) would require special spending projects included in the budget to be clearly identified, along with what legislative districts and lawmakers would benefit from them.
Zipperer says it’s meant to “shine light on one of the most secretive practices in the Legislature.”
The bill requires the Legislative Fiscal Bureau to prepare a report identifying all earmarks, along with their costs. Zipperer says it would also prevent lawmakers from voting on the budget until that report is publicly available.
Zipperer says it will help avoid situations where lawmakers approve a state budget, only to discover later that a costly provision was slipped in at the last minute. He says good public policy doesn’t come from backroom deals made at the 11th hour.
A Senate committee is considering the measure.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:07)