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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

I voted against the budget repair bill

The state Senate approved a budget repair bill, 17-16. I voted against the bill.

Here is a link to a summary of the bill prepared by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. (LFB).

The budget repair bill is problematic because it includes a raid on segregated funds, using the tobacco settlement money, delaying payments to schools and counties, more borrowing, and, can you believe it, more spending. This irresponsible package merely uses accounting mischief and borrowing to create fiscal problems in the near future, setting the stage for another budget crisis.

The director of the LFB, Bob Lang says that if this budget repair bill becomes law, the state will have a structural deficit of $1.7 billion. The structural deficit is caused by future budget spending commitments exceeding future expected revenues.

There are some troubling provisions contained in the bill, including a property tax exemption for housing projects  funded by WHEDA, and yet another fiscally irresponsible raid of the Transportation Fund of $50 million.

A tobacco settlement restructuring to grab some ready cash allows the state to receive $1,626 million from 2008-09 through 2029-30, and the state would lose $2,414 million over the same period, resulting in a loss of $788 million.

The Wisconsin driver's license fee was increased by $10 to pay for the REAL ID law. The bill proposes the $10 be used for other purposes to balance the budget. Under this scenario, it is likely your license fee will increase another $10 in the next state budget to pay for the REAL ID law.

Deductions for rental payments and interest payments to related entities are eliminated, resulting in additional taxes on businesses. Democrats call the deductions the Wal-Mart loophole. When I drive past Wal-Mart parking lots, I see a lot of my constituents’ cars in those parking lots. I don’t take kindly to increasing the price they will pay for goods.

Tobacco settlement money would be used to pay for Badger Care and Medical Assistance.

Wisconsin’s Do Not Call List would be expanded to include cell phones. That and a few other policy items beg the question as to why policy measures have been inserted into a budget bill.


Add it all up and the budget repair bill does not repair a thing. It only causes fiscal chaos. I voted no.

State Senate in session today

Here is the calendar for the state Senate session today, Tuesday, May 13, 2008:


First Order.                Call of Roll.

Second Order.           Chief clerk's entries.

Third Order.              Introduction, first reading and reference of proposals; reference of appointments.

Fourth Order.            Report of committees.

QUESTION:        Shall the committee of conference report be adopted?

Assembly Bill 1, March 2008 Special Session . Relating to: state finances and appropriations. (FE)  By Committee on Assembly Organization, by request of Governor James E. Doyle. (Report adoption of Conference Report by the Committee of Conference on March 2008 Special Session Assembly Bill 1, Ayes 5, Noes 1) Conference substitute amendment 1 pending.

Fifth Order.               Petitions and communications.

Sixth Order.               Advice and consent of the Senate.

QUESTION:        Shall the appointment be confirmed?

Cupp, Mark, of Blue River, as a member of the Land and Water Conservation Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2012.

Fulkerson, Jay, of Menasha, as a member of the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan Authority, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011. 

Gifford, Michael, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan Authority to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011. 

Greenley, Dianne, of McFarland, as a member of the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan Authority, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011. 

Henzl, Robert, of Racine, as a member of the Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2009.

L
undberg, William, of Wisconsin Rapids, as a member of the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011.

Miller, Michael, of West Bend, as a member of the Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2011. 

Peirick, Carol, of Madison, as a member of the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan Authority, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011.

Quackenbush, William, of Black River Falls, as a member of the Kickapoo Reserve Management Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011.

Rohde, Gary, of River Falls, as a member of the Natural Resources Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2011.

Stanley, Tim, of Monona, as a member of the Cemetery Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2011.

Timberlake, Karen, of Madison, as secretary of the Department of Health and Family Services, to serve for the term ending at the pleasure of the Governor.

Tlusty, Wayne, of Rib Lake, as a member of the Examining Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, Professional Engineers, Designers and Land Surveyors, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2011. 

Walsh, Roger, of Wauwatosa, as a member of the Wisconsin Waterways Commission, to serve for the term ending March 1, 2013. 

Wesley, Gregory, of Milwaukee, as a member of the Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board, for the term ending July 1, 2011. 

Williams, Jay, of Hartland, as a member of the Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2009. 

Seventh Order.          Referrals and receipt of committee reports concerning proposed administrative rules.

Eighth Order.            Messages from the Assembly.

Ninth Order.              Special Orders.

Tenth Order.             Consideration of motions, resolutions, and joint resolutions not requiring a third reading.

QUESTION:        Shall the resolution be adopted?

Senate Resolution 1, March 2008 Special Session .
Relating to: the life and public service of Dr. Krishna Chintamaneni.  By Committee on Senate Organization.

QUESTION:        Shall the joint resolution be adopted?

Senate Joint Resolution 3, March 2008 Special Session . Relating to: the life and service of Milton McPike.  By Committee on Senate Organization.

Eleventh Order.         Second reading and amendments of senate joint resolutions and senate bills.

Twelfth Order.          Second reading and amendments of assembly joint resolutions and assembly bills.

Thirteenth Order.     Third reading of joint resolutions and bills.

F
ourteenth Order.     Motions may be offered.

Fifteenth Order.        Announcements, adjournment honors, and remarks under special privilege.

Sixteenth Order.        Adjournment.

Beware of tax rebate scams

News you can use

The National Crime Prevention Council has issued an alert, warning about tax rebate scammers.

The federal government has begun to mail out economic stimulus checks to taxpayers. Scammers are calling people, claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asking for personal information so the check can be deposited directly into the taxpayer’s account.

Don’t fall for this scam.

The IRS will not telephone or e-mail taxpayers. The only way to secure a stimulus check is to file a 2007 income tax return.

Here are more details.

Hear me discuss photo ID on Wisconsin Public Radio

Mary in the media, Photo ID

 

Read more

Reminder: Town hall meetings begin Monday

I will be holding a series of town hall meetings. They begin this Monday:

MONDAY, MAY 5

FRANKLIN
Franklin Public Library  5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
9151 West Loomis Road


GREENDALE
Layton Street Bank of Greendale 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
5850 Broad Street

Please feel free to attend any of these town hall meetings. I look forward to seeing you and hearing your comments, questions and concerns.

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