MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Both major Republican candidates for governor say they would not raid specialized state funds to balance other parts of the budget. That’s after the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it was unconstitutional to transfer $200 million paid into a state fund by doctors for the purpose of covering settlements in malpractice suits.
Mark Neumann said he would reject any such raids if he’s elected. His Republican primary opponent, Scott Walker, promised to support a constitutional amendment to prohibit all transfers of specialized funds.
The only major Democrat in the governor’s race, Tom Barrett, would not commit to opposing future raids. But he did criticize those moves, and said he would approve a responsible budget. Tuesday’s court decision covers only the state medical malpractice fund. It does not apply to other funds, such as the gas tax fund that’s supposed to be used for transportation.
Meanwhile, an official of the State Medical Society called today’s court ruling a big win for Wisconsinites because they know there will be adequate money to pay malpractice claims. The society filed the lawsuit which demanded that the $200 million be returned to the malpractice fund. Senior vice president Tim Bartholow asked that it be returned as soon as possible, to assure that the fund remains solvent.