Questions were raised Monday about Governor Scott Walker’s security detail, during the first day of agency briefings on the proposed 2015-2017 state budget. “I’d like talk for a minute about the governor’s security detail,” state Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) told outgoing Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebcsh. “How big is it?”
Huebsch, who’s being succeeded at the head of DOA by Scott Neitzel, didn’t know the answer to that, although he was able to explain that security detail costs are closely scrutinized by the state Government Accountability Board. “I understand that the governor has to have security wherever the governor goes, but the governor doesn’t have to do every single political thing under the sun, which it seems like he’s doing right now,” Erpenbach said. “So are the taxpayers paying for all of that?”
“We understand the scrutiny level that is coming on there, and making sure that it is going to be something is assigned to the campaign as it should be, or provided by the taxpayers as it should be,” depending on the nature of Walker’s travel, Huebsch explained.
Erpenbach, a member of the Joint Committee on Finance, which began agency briefings on Monday, also wanted to know about a $4.00 an hour increase for members of the Wisconsin State Patrol’s Dignitary Protection Unit. Huebsch said that increase for the 10 member unit also included elimination of overtime pay, and thus represents an actual savings on the governor’s security costs.