Governor Scott Walker is getting some push-back from a member of his own party – over a plan to create a new teachers license. State Senator Rob Cowles says the idea of creating a new teachers licensing program for people with “real world” experience does not belong in the budget.
“If you plunk something like this in the state budget, it’s going to get short shrift,” said Cowles. “Now, is it the right thing to do? I don’t know. But that’s a policy decision that deserves to have public hearings, to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
Cowles said it’s going to be hard enough to deal with the projected two-point-two billion dollar deficit without having to consider policy items. “Stick to the finances. We have enough trouble in this budget with finances. There’s a signficant shortfall.”
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported on Friday that the state has a $283 million deficit in the current fiscal year, in addition to a roughly $2.2 billion deficit the state is facing in the next budget biennium, based on current agency requests.
The governor unveiled the teacher licensing proposal, along with some other budget initiatives, last week. He’ll propose his full budget next week.
“These are the kinds of things that should not be in the state budget,” said Cowles. “They should go to the respective committees in the Assembly and the Senate, and we should have a chance to think about them.”