The House adjourned late last night, after a day full of approving appropriation bills. Legislators stayed in town this weekend, working through Saturday and Sunday to finalize the state government’s budget for the upcoming year. Known as “conference weekend,” this is the time when 3 members from the House and 3 members from the Senate work together “in conference” to appropriate your tax dollars to various state agencies for the year.
While some reports have exaggerated the reduction in spending for this year, the truth is that state government spending has exploded over the last five years, outpacing the growth of both inflation and the state’s population growth. This sort of spending growth is unsustainable, and this year’s budget reflects an attempt to reduce government spending. Government can’t spend anything that it doesn’t first take from the people who earned it. Our priority should always be to allow you to keep more of what is rightfully yours.
You can view all the bills that we voted on this weekend, including appropriation bills for each agency, on my blog post here. I’ve uploaded a file here which has a complete rundown of the total state spending for each agency this year. This is the information that was provided to lawmakers when voting on appropriation bills this weekend.
A couple of other highlights from the last week include:
- The House passed a bill that would allow the City of Madison to authorize the use of golf carts on certain city streets.
- The Governor signed a bill that will help strengthen families by ensuring that children are not removed from their parents unless there is actual evidence of abuse or neglect.
- The House passed a bill that would allow the Lost Rabbit neighborhood in Madison to establish a leisure and recreation district, otherwise known as a “go cup” area.
Members are still working out the final details on several general bills in conference. Wednesday is the deadline to adopt conference reports on general bills. You can each of the bills still pending before the House, along with a short summary, on my calendar page here.
Because the House and Senate could not reach an agreement on the appropriations for MDOT and the Attorney General, a special session will likely be held soon to address those agencies. The House will continue working this week to finalize general bills in conference before adjourning for the general session. I’ll follow up with a comprehensive end of session update then. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or if I can do anything for you.
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