You are invited to give Southwest Wisconsin a voice in the state budget process.
In coordination with Rep. Travis Tranel (R–Cuba City), for the second year in a row, I was able to secure one of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee public hearings in the 17th Senate District.
I am proud to announce that the JFC has selected UW–Platteville for one of six Public Hearings this year. The entire committee will be hosting a hearing at Ullsvik Hall on the UW–Platteville Campus Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All citizens of Wisconsin are welcome to participate in each of the public hearings. However, I especially encourage residents of the 17th District to take advantage of this unique opportunity. This is your chance to testify, in person, to the legislators who will be crafting the legislature’s version of the state budget.
Please do not be intimidated by the public hearing process! While it may be time intensive, the process is simple. Attendees are welcome to testify in person, submit written testimony or attend to listen. If you would like to speak, please plan to arrive early in the day and complete a hearing slip, which you will find at the entry of the room. Those wishing to testify will be given approximately three minutes in the order in which their slips are given to the hearing staff. Please note that depending on the attendance at the hearing, wait times may be long. However, the legislative staff who coordinate the hearing work hard to keep things moving efficiently and may be able to provide an estimate for your time for testimony.
If you would like to provide written testimony, you may share one copy with the hearing staff and it will be delivered to all members of the committee electronically. If you prefer to listen to the testimony of others, please feel free to join us. Keep in mind that we seek to maintain a fair and respectful environment for all attendees so that every voice is heard.
When you are preparing to testify, plan to speak for up to three minutes and be sure to share your personal reasons for your concerns. We need to hear directly from you to understand why you support, or oppose, a particular provision in the budget. Your stories and personal testimony is an essential part of the budget process. The best modifications, additions or ideas for the budget come from citizens who are impacted by the policies and programs that are a part of this massive document.
Every public hearing is broadcast live on WisconsinEye, which you can access at www.wiseye.com.
Prior to the public hearings, the JFC will receive agency briefings from each agency as they highlight their budget requests, explain their priorities and describe their needs for the coming biennium. The schedule for each day may be found here: http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/committees/joint/1680. The briefings are open to the public and will be broadcast on WisconsinEye, but no public testimony is taken at these meetings.
Once the agencies have briefed the committee, we take our show on the road and meet with the citizens of Wisconsin during the public hearings, as I described previously. Following the public hearings, we return to the Capitol to digest the budget and begin offering motions and making decisions to craft the Legislature’s version of the budget.
As we work through this process, all briefing, summary and analytical documents related to the budget can be found on the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s website: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/lfb/budget/2017_19_biennal_budget.
While the budget process is long and there are a lot of moving parts, the best time for you to contribute to the conversation is during the public hearing phase and in the next couple of weeks. If you are not able to attend a public hearing, please do not hesitate to share your thoughts with me directly. I appreciate all of the input and ideas that are shared throughout the process.