Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee approved a package of budget items last night, but not without some controversy.
They voted to require the UW System to appear before Joint Finance in order to get 8 million dollars for dairy research. Democrat Representative Evan Goyke says that just adds government where it’s not needed. “Senator Marklein’s comment was ‘What they is certainty.’ ‘What they need is certainty.’ That is what you just said, Senator Marklein, and this motion doesn’t give them certainty.” That brings the total that JFC is reserving to $109 million. Democrats are calling it a slush fund.
Republican Representative Mike Rohrkaste says it’s a minuscule amount of the state’s budget. “Point one percent. I just listened to about 10 minutes of blasting us for putting $109 million into an appropriation that’s at most point one percent of the total budget?”
Republican Representative Amy Loudenbeck chided Democrats and Governor Evers for not funding the project in their budget. “This is the Dairy Task Force Plan and we’re going to have them come back to us with a plan. Because you don’t have one. This is our plan. And we’re going to fund it.”
Republicans also cut 600 million dollars in building projects from the Evers budget, including the funding for new youth prisons. The Joint Finance Committee will be back on Thursday to hopefully finish out the budget process.