The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee has removed 14 of the 49 items from Governor Scott Walker’s state budget proposal, which had been identified as non-fiscal policy items. Those provisions include plans to make the state Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection boards advisory-only.
JFC co-chair, state Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette), said several of the items being removed did not have enough support from their members to pass as a part of the full budget package. While Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who also co-chairs the panel, indicated that the issues could still go before the legislature later on as stand-alone bills.
Other items dropped include changes to county assessor’s offices and public access to university research records.
Democrats on Joint Finance criticized majority Republicans for not removing all policy items from the budget. State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) said “these are important issues, and they shouldn’t be hidden in a budget.”
The panel on Wednesday rejected a motion from Democrats to remove the remaining 35 items from the budget plan.