Wisconsin Gov. Walker Makes Positive And Negative Vetoes On State Budget
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (06/27/2011) - On Sunday, Governor Walker signed into law the 2011-2013 State Budget, which included 50 vetoes. Advocacy groups and editorials around the state encouraged the Governor to veto the most egregious policy changes inserted into the budget with no public hearing or input. While there were a few positive vetoes, such as one the prevented commercial bail bonds from operating in Wisconsin, many of what some people call, attacks on consumer protections, remained.
Notably missing from Governor Walker’s veto list was one to prevent the addition of loopholes to current predatory lending regulations. Assembly Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) had requested the governor to eliminate payday & auto title loopholes, and keep the new consumer protections laws intact.
Representative Hintz also requested Governor Walker to use his veto pen to keep tenant foreclosure protection provisions. Walker elected to follow JFC’s lead and did away with protections with no input from the public or tenant rights advocates.
Governor Walker did comply with Representative Hintz’s request and vetoed the Bail Bonds Surety Licensing provisions, which would have opened up Wisconsin to the bail bonds industry.
Representative Hintz says he has "huge concerns about this budget’s impact on our state". Hintz says "the radical shift in priorities comes at the expense of Wisconsin families".
"I am strongly opposed to the transfer of state dollars from our public education systems and job training programs to private voucher schools and unaccountable corporate tax giveaways. I am also upset at what this budget does to erode consumer protections," Assembly Representative Gordon Hintz said.
"The financial impacts of this budget on our poorest and most vulnerable citizens are devastating enough. Yet this budget further enables and encourages predatory lending practices that undermine the economic security of individuals struggling to make ends meet. Reducing the disposalble income of those struggling in this economy hurts all of the communities in our state," Hinz added.
Hinz says Governor Walker did the right thing by vetoing the abhorrent last minute Bail Bonds provision, which would have opened our state to the corruption of the bail bond industry. He also says the Governor was right to recognize that drastic policy changes should be introduced as separate legislation and go through the public input and legislative vetting process rather than being slipped into the State Budget.
"I only wish Governor Walker had been consistent and taken out the other similar policy items that JFC Republicans jammed in that are harmful for consumers," Assembly Representative Hintz continued.
"I am particularly upset that with the action of his pen, he just punched giant loopholes into the new payday and auto title lending regulations. Just a year after passing the first regulation in our state’s history, Wisconsin takes a huge step backwards,"
"This is not the type of job growth Governor Walker and the Republican legislature should be encouraging. The costs to our constituents caught in the debt trap of these insidious industries far outweigh the few jobs these industries create," Hintz said.
"We do not need more payday and auto title lenders in our state. However, these industries employ a large number of lobbyists and are very influential. This is a pure special interest giveaway at the expense of struggling families," Hintz pointed out.
Hintz is also upset about Governor Walker and Republican leadership not providing any explanation why they chose to eliminate protections for renters in foreclosure cases.
"Last session, after these protections were put into place, lobbyists for the Banking industry expressed concerns and offered some solutions that would make it less costly for them to provide notification to tenants. However, the budget provision doesn’t ‘fix’ the issue; it just strips all protections away," Representative Hintz said.
As a result, in a time when foreclosure actions are still common, families will no longer be notified when they are going to be evicted due to their landlord’s actions. Families’ evicted may be further punished by having this on their record, even though it was due to no fault of their own.
"Why was this in the budget? New legislation should have been introduced to address the Banker’s concerns. I would have been happy to work with them to do so and make this a bipartisan effort rather than a budget gotcha," Assembly Representative Gordon Hintz of Oshkosh said.
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