State Budget & Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism Update

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said the Assembly will likely take up the 2013-15 biennial budget bill (AB 40) on Tuesday, June 18. Vos also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he expects the legislature to pass the budget approved by the Joint Finance Committee last Wednesday.

The Finance Committee included a provision that would force the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism off the UW-Madison campus and forbid faculty from working with the organization. The provision was part of an omnibus wrap-up motion and no legislator has claimed credit for the proposal. Joint Finance Committee co-chair Representative Jon Nygren (R-Marinette) said Republican members of the committee voted for the motion and that was the “highest level of accountability” he would offer. PROFS is meeting with legislators this week and working to remove the provision from the budget.

The budget passed by the finance committee included several other policy items that were not publicly discussed, including a pilot bail bonds program, a tax deduction for private school tuition, naming the kringle the official state pastry, and changes in how soon a cable company can disconnecting service due to non-payment. The state’s two major newspapers editorialized Sunday that policy items should be removed. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial is here and the Wisconsin State Journal editorial is here.