Democrats on the state’s budget writing panel bring up the controversial sporting grant on Wednesday, but Republicans shoot down any debate.

Senator Bob Wirch (D-Pleasant Prairie) began a meeting of the Joint Finance Committee with questions about the half-million dollar grant, aimed at promoting the state’s sporting heritage. JFC co-chair Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) didn’t want to talk about it, saying the issue has already been “vastly discussed,” and the process has worked.

“We are not here to visit past action,” Nygren says, “We are here to deal with the issues that are on the agenda today and I ask you to respect that.” Wirch interjects, “We were given bad information on this committee about that … it influenced our vote.”

Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) had more questions about the grant that was included in the state budget, and she wanted to know what is happening with that $500,000 that was rescinded after first being awarded to the group United Sportsmen of Wisconsin Foundation.

“I feel a little duped, a little bit. I felt like I was played.” Shilling said, “We had seven minutes to look at that motion. We didn’t have the full story, but I wanna look ahead and figure out how we can be problem solvers. People back home … they expect us to be problem solvers.”

Shilling said there are many groups who are well-suited to apply for that money.

After the subject was quashed, Cory Mason (D-Racine) asked co-chairs to commit to putting the issue on the next agenda to appropriately discuss it. Nygren said he’d take Mason’s request under advisement.

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