April 24, 2013[Madison, Wisc…] Tomorrow, the Joint Committee on Finance begins voting on Governor Scott Walker’s 2013-2015 budget proposal, starting a new phase of the biennial budget debate.
The powerful Finance Committee, made up of 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats, will spend weeks reviewing, debating and amending every part of the governor’s $68 billion dollar budget. And with the start of Finance’s work, the MacIver Institute will provide the real-time analysis and the 24/7 coverage of the budget debate that you can find no where else.
• Will the Governor’s $343 million income tax cut survive or will the Legislature use it for more spending?
• Will the professional education class convince Finance that our schools have squeezed every last spare nickel out of their budgets and we have no choice but to give them hundreds of millions more of our tax dollars just to survive?
• Will special interest groups convince the legislature to roll back basic reforms to our state’s budget-busting entitlement programs like requiring those on unemployment to actively search for a job four times a week instead of just two and requiring childless adults receiving food stamps to participate in a job training program?
• Will the Governor’s plan to give the parents of children in struggling schools more educational options be scrapped in the face of opposition from the teachers union and the status quo?
• Will the dramatic government funding shift from a cost-to-continue system (take last year’s budget and automatically request 3-5% more without thought or justification) that inevitably leads to more and more government to a performance-based model with tangible goals survive?
All of these questions and many more will be answered over the next several weeks. And MacIver will be there every step of the way making sure the budget process is transparent and your government is accountable to you, the taxpayer.
The MacIver Institute was the first organization to publish the omnibus budget amendment crafted by legislative leadership behind closed doors with the hope that it would be passed before the public found out what was actually in it. If not for our efforts to make the budget process transparent, Wisconsinites would still be in the dark!