As lawmakers prepare to debate Wisconsin's next biennial budget plan, six communities around the state will host public hearings. State Representative Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson), a co-chair of Joint Finance Committee , says it's a great opportunity for citizens to take part in the budget process.

Rhoades says members are trying to make sure every part of the state has a chance to be heard. The hearings will being in Milwaukee on March 20th and wrap up in Green Bay on April 12th. Rhoades says having them spread throughout the state hopefully makes it so people can attend one nearby, rather than having to drive to the Capitol to speak up on the budget.

The Hudson Republican says Wisconsinites should play an active role in the budget process, and she knows members will take public feedback to heart as they work on the state budget. Rhoades says she prefers to hear from the people directly impacted by state programs, in addition to the usual testimony from state agencies.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:05)

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