Joint Finance Committee Begins Voting

The Joint Finance Committee began voting on the 2013-15 biennial budget last week, and voting continues today. A cumulative list of budget papers is here.

On Friday, the committee discussed the Departments of Military Affairs, Natural Resources, and Tourism. A proposal by the Governor to move the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board from the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Administration was rejected. The committee also approved a motion to cut 32 DNR positions that are currently vacant, but rejected a motion by Democrats to increase the Tourism budget by more than $3 million dollars.

Today, the committee is discussing the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Transportation, the Historical Society, State Fair Park, an Budget Management and Compensation Reserves. JFC voted unanimously to reject Governor Scott Walker’s $3.7 million plan to take over Circus World Museum, instead maintaining the management structure that has been in place for more than 50 years. The committee also voted down a $12.1 million request by the Department of Administration to cover possible increases in state employee fringe benefits.

The committee will meet on May 9 after adjourning today. Action on the University of Wisconsin System has not been scheduled.