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The Free Market Voice for Wisconsin
Updated: 2 hours 34 min ago

MacIver News Minute: Budget Committee Wants To Explore “Big Brother” Mileage Tracking Fee Scheme

Thu, 06/13/2019 - 00:00
In one of the bigger Big Government ideas coming from ostensibly free-market conservatives, the Legislature’s budget-writing committee wants to track your vehicle’s mileage. The committee last week approved a state transportation budget explores a mileage-based fee system. Whether that would entail self-reporting, or technology that creepily tracks motorist mileage, the proposal puts Wisconsin on the road to Big Brother Land. Even more troubling, the language gives the Joint Finance Committee, not the full Legislature, the authority to approve or deny any mileage tracking plan that comes out of the study committee. That’s too much control in the hands of a few, and it has Big Brother riding shotgun.  Read More MacIver News Minute: Budget Committee Wants To Explore “Big Brother” Mileage Tracking Fee Scheme

Rep. Taylor, Democrats Mock The Obamacare Exchange And The Affordability Of ACA Health Insurance

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 20:36
At a Joint Finance executive session last week, Rep. Chris Taylor mocked the notion that subsidized Obamacare plans could possibly be affordable. Her comments were an effort to justify the expansion of Medicaid to a population between 100-138 percent of the federal poverty level that already has access to affordable, private sector health insurance thanks to existing taxpayer subsidies.  Read More Rep. Taylor, Democrats Mock The Obamacare Exchange And The Affordability Of ACA Health Insurance

Mini Transportation Reform Package Putting Back Some Beef In DOT Accountability

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 00:00
By M.D. Kittle - After the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee passed a transportation budget heavy on spending and light on agency accountability, some fiscal hawks felt a lot like Clara Peller.   Read More Mini Transportation Reform Package Putting Back Some Beef In DOT Accountability

Finance Committee Sends $1.9 Billion More to Statewide Building Projects

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 00:00
By Ola Lisowski - The Joint Finance Committee came one step closer to finishing work on the 2019-21 budget Tuesday, spending $1.88 billion more on building projects.   Read More Finance Committee Sends $1.9 Billion More to Statewide Building Projects

The Hard Bigotry of No Expectations

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 00:00
Dan O’Donnell examines Marquette University’s decision to no longer require entrance exams amid the broader push to devalue objective academic standards in the name of diversity.  Read More The Hard Bigotry of No Expectations

MacIver News Minute: The Good, Bad, and Ugly in Transportation Budget

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 19:49
Here’s the good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Joint Finance Committee’s Transportation budget. No gas tax, no indexing - or taxation without representation. That’s very good. Transportation bonding at the lowest level in 18 years, that’s good. But at nearly $500 million, it’s a big-spending transportation budget, and it relies heavily on fee hikes. Now, the ugly. The JFC’s transpo budget includes very little in the way of reforms for a Department that has squandered billions of taxpayer dollars.  Read More MacIver News Minute: The Good, Bad, and Ugly in Transportation Budget

DOT’s Top-Down System Stifles Cost-Saving Innovation

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 19:39
The Department of Transportation is a top-down bureaucracy run out of Madison. Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) explains why incentivizing employees around the state to come up with new ideas, and listening to them, could lead to savings in time and money.  Read More DOT’s Top-Down System Stifles Cost-Saving Innovation

“What Sense Does That Make?” DOT’s $20 Million Rebar Blunder

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 19:37
Is there substantial waste in the DOT? Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) explains one $20 million example involving a lot of very expensive stainless steel rebar used on the Hoan bridge. Why use Cadillac rebar with a 75-year lifespan when the bridge structure will only last 45 more years?  Read More “What Sense Does That Make?” DOT’s $20 Million Rebar Blunder

Sanfelippo: DOT Reforms Necessary To Meet Transportation Needs

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 19:36
On Tuesday, an Assembly committee held a lengthy hearing on a package of Department of Transportation reform bills. Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) explained that yes, there are pressing needs, but that makes reforming the department all the more important.  Read More Sanfelippo: DOT Reforms Necessary To Meet Transportation Needs

ChartSmart: Taxes, Bonding, and the Building Program

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 00:00
By Ola Lisowski - Welcome back to ChartSmart. Today's vote will include taxes, the building program, and general obligation bonds. Check out today's charts to learn more.  Read More ChartSmart: Taxes, Bonding, and the Building Program

Capitol Sources Say Dem Power Player Chuck Chvala May Be Stirring The Public Finance Authority Pot

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 00:00
By M.D. Kittle - Is an old Republican nemesis working behind the scenes to bring back a bill expanding the power of a controversial player in the conduit financing industry?   Read More Capitol Sources Say Dem Power Player Chuck Chvala May Be Stirring The Public Finance Authority Pot

Watch Out: Sources Say Big Gov Bills On Shadowy PFA And Wedding Barn Crackdown In The Offing

Mon, 06/10/2019 - 00:00
By M.D. Kittle - As the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee nears the end of budget-writing season, Capitol insiders tell MacIver News Service there is a push to bring back two controversial measures declared dead in the last legislative session.   Read More Watch Out: Sources Say Big Gov Bills On Shadowy PFA And Wedding Barn Crackdown In The Offing

Joint Finance Democrat Bashes Obamacare Exchanges

Sun, 06/09/2019 - 18:22
Rep. Taylor describes an Obamacare "navigator" laughing at a woman trying to find inexpensive options through the healthcare exchange. Taylor also claimed the exchanges discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, which is illegal.  Read More Joint Finance Democrat Bashes Obamacare Exchanges

Hefty Transportation Funding Package A Bridge Too Far For Some Fiscal Hawks

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 21:25
By M.D. Kittle - Some Senate fiscal hawks say the $484 million revenue-increase package for the state Department of Transportation is too expensive and too thin on accountability for an agency in dire need of reform.   Read More Hefty Transportation Funding Package A Bridge Too Far For Some Fiscal Hawks

MacIver News Minute: Paperwork-Strained Docs Find Relief With Direct Primary Care

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 18:48
Nicole Hemkes was tired of being another "paper doctor" - just a few minutes with each patient followed by way too much paperwork. In December, Hemkes left that paper chase and opened a direct primary care clinic in the Madison area. Not only does this model of health care delivery get docs back to the basics - more time with patients and less insurance company paperwork - it has the potential to truly reduce the cost of quality health care.  Read More MacIver News Minute: Paperwork-Strained Docs Find Relief With Direct Primary Care

In Case You Missed It: GOP Raises DHS Funding Without Expanding Medicaid, Wind Energy Is Not Eco-Friendly, And Trump Continues To Deregulate

Fri, 06/07/2019 - 12:57
This week, the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted to expand DHS funding without expanding Medicaid; Wind Energy is found nowhere near as good as advertised; and Trump continues to deregulate as promised. Before your kids last day of school, here are some important articles for the fiscal conservative, in case you missed it.  Read More In Case You Missed It: GOP Raises DHS Funding Without Expanding Medicaid, Wind Energy Is Not Eco-Friendly, And Trump Continues To Deregulate

DOT Pushes Gas Tax Propaganda On Twitter, Conservatives Say

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 22:08
By M.D. Kittle - Is the Wisconsin Department of Transportation getting into the “propaganda” business? Some conservatives think so.   Read More DOT Pushes Gas Tax Propaganda On Twitter, Conservatives Say

ChartSmart: Transportation

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 00:00
By Ola Lisowski - Today's ChartSmart examines the Department of Transportation and related issues.   Read More ChartSmart: Transportation

Lawsuit Challenging Big Labor’s Tactics Pushes Back On Kaul’s Failure To Defend Right To Work

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 14:56
By M.D. Kittle - Right-to-work advocates may have just found a way to get around Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul’s failure to defend worker freedom.   Read More Lawsuit Challenging Big Labor’s Tactics Pushes Back On Kaul’s Failure To Defend Right To Work

How To Improve Transportation Without Revenue Raisers

Wed, 06/05/2019 - 09:09
By Bill Osmulski - It's irresponsible to ask Wisconsin taxpayers and drivers to shoulder a heavier burden before the state proves it can be trusted to "just fix it." The following recommendations would be a good start.   Read More How To Improve Transportation Without Revenue Raisers

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