Announce Fewest Public Budget Hearings in 25 Years; Limit Public Input

MADISON- Again breaking Scott Walker’s promises to run the most open and transparent government in Wisconsin history, and keeping with the disturbing trend of diminished democracy in Wisconsin, Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. Robin Vos announced they would hold only four public budget hearings to defend their draconian cuts to public education, public safety and local governments.

This represents the fewest number of budget hearings in 25 years.

Co-chairs Darling and Vos also announced that all four hearings would take place on weekdays and would end between 5-6p.m., effectively denying working families the opportunity to voice their concerns about Scott Walker’s dangerous budget that annihilates the Wisconsin way of life.

In response to the Republicans’ limited opportunity for public input, Democratic legislators have announced additional budget hearings to allow the public to be heard.

Republicans already have terminated Joint Finance hearings, violated Wisconsin Open Meetings laws, turned off the legislative hotline, published union-busting legislation unlawfully, shut down town hall meetings and closed off the Wisconsin Capitol. 

“With every passing day and every abuse of power, Scott Walker and his rubberstamp Legislature are damaging Wisconsin’s brand of open, collaborative governance,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Monday. “I can only assume Sen. Darling and Rep. Vos are merely too ashamed to hear what the public really has to say."