BREAKING: 11 GOP Assemblymen Voice Concerns, May Not Support Budget

Eleven Republican lawmakers signaled they may not vote for the state budget in an open letter to Speaker Robin Vos and GOP Majority Leader Scott Suder. The eleven Assembly Republicans listed five major concerns with the legislation being discussed by the Joint Finance Committee.

Dave Craig, Steve Nass, Chris Kapenga, Tyler August, Duey Stroebel, Gary Tauchen, Rob Hutton, Joe Sanfelippo, Adam Neylon, Paul Tittl, and Don Pridemore all signed the letter, which reads, “we agree as a group that we cannot both represent our constituents and our conservative principles by supporting the budget in its current form.”

The entire letter can be read here.

The eleven Republicans want to see the adoption of Rep. Dale Kooyenga’s tax reform as well as reforms to the “marriage penalty” tax.

The lawmakers would also like to see bonding in the budget cut in half. Currently, Governor Walker’s Budget contains about one billion dollars in new bonding.

Media Trackers talked with an aide to Rep. Steve Nass late last week. Nass’s aide said that the legislator had major issues with the structural deficit and bonding. The group of eleven all expressed reservations about appropriations and tax reform adding to a structural deficit.

Other concerns listed are the “complete and total removal of the ‘DNA Collection Upon Arrest’ proposal.” In his budget, Governor Walker added a provision to require the collection of DNA of anyone accused of a felony or sex-related misdemeanor.

The final concern is retired state employees “double-dipping.” Some retired employees are collecting both their pension and new government paychecks, a practice the eleven Republicans seek to end.

Media Trackers has followed the budget debate closely, uncovering a takeover of Circus World, a Racine harbor earmark, and a flawed stewardship program.

In their letter, the representatives opposing the drafted budget called on Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Suder to show leadership in caucus and stick to conservative principles. As the Joint Finance Committee wraps up biennial budget talks in the next few weeks, it is clear some legislators still have major concerns.


May 30, 2013


Dear Speaker Vos and Majority Leader Suder,

We write to you today to express our sincere concerns about the ongoing budget debate occurring in the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) and in the legislature as a whole. With the budget process nearing completion in the JFC and likely coming to the Assembly floor in the coming weeks, we believe now is the time to address our ongoing concerns in a serious and substantive manner. With this in mind, we agree as a group that we cannot both represent our constituents and our conservative principles by supporting the budget in its current form. We in good conscience cannot support this budget unless the following issues are substantially addressed:

·         Adoption of Rep. Dale Kooyenga’s tax reform package and serious reforms to the “Marriage Penalty” tax.

·         Complete and total removal of the “DNA Collection Upon Arrest” proposal.

·         An overall reduction of $500 million in bonding.

·         Appropriations and tax reform done in a deficit neutral manner.

·         Double dipping 2/3 FTE employee provision returns to the FTE employee definition as currently defined by the Department of Employee Trust Funds.

If you would like to discuss this matter further we would be happy to meet with you as a group and discuss our united concerns regarding this very important legislation.

While we appreciate the hard work that both of you and the JFC have put into this process, it is our sincere belief that these concerns at a minimum must be addressed to keep moving Wisconsin FORWARD.


Representative David Craig                            Representative Stephen Nass

Representative Chris Kapenga                     Representative Tyler August

Representative Duey Stroebel                        Representative Gary Tauchen

Representative Rob Hutton                         Representative Joe Sanfelippo

Representative Adam Neylon          Representative Paul Tittl

Representative Don Pridemore