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$15 million Locked in JFC Needlessly by Republicans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Smith, State Senator District 31   
Thursday, 06 June 2024 15:58

jfcphotoLegislative Reference Bureau memo released Wednesday shows 10 examples of JFC releasing money after partially vetoed bills are passed into law over the last two administrations.

MADISON – On the heels of a Legislative Council memo released yesterday, a new nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau memo released today shows ten examples over the last two administrations of the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) releasing funds after a partial veto.

Yesterday, Senator Dianne Hesselbein (D-Middleton) released a nonpartisan Legislative Council memo explicitly stating JFC has the authority to release funds for the HSHS closure crisis. Despite the release of the memo, Co-Chairs Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam), cited their legal concerns about releasing funds. Today, a new memo shows JFC has taken the same action ten times over the last two administrations.

jeff-smith“Republicans want people to think they can’t release the $15 million, but in fact they’ve done it at least ten times in recent history,” said Senator Jeff Smith. “Let’s face it, the co-chairs of JFC saying they’re scared to do something that they’ve already done ten times before isn’t fear – it’s gutlessness and callousness for people suffering in the Chippewa Valley.”

jodi-emerson“Let’s make this abundantly clear - it is a deliberate choice by Republicans to not release these funds,” said Representative Jodi Emerson. “It’s time for JFC to meet and do the people’s work. Lives are on the line.”

Specifically, Republican co-chairs Marklein and Born mentioned their concern that Governor Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin) would pursue legal action against the legislature if they affirm what the Governor has requested.

“This is the weirdest and saddest excuse yet – cowering about litigation from the Governor for doing what he requested – I mean, come on,” said Senator Jeff Smith! “The excuses are beyond ridiculous at this point. They’ve done it before – just do it again.”

It should be noted that Chippewa Valley Republicans created this mess from the start by splitting the HSHS closure funding bills into a policy bill and a funding bill to sidestep the Governor’s veto authority. After listening to area health care providers, the Governor vetoed useless restrictions authored by area Republicans on the policy bill and then signed the funding bill into law.

“Only Republicans can create a mess as big as this and then attempt to justify their inaction with the dumbest excuses,” said Senator Jeff Smith. “Thankfully, Chippewa Valley residents aren’t buying the BS anymore. Republicans are playing politics while people suffer – it is the epitome of political ignorance and illusion despite hard evidence for them to do their jobs.”

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