MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Some of those 2 a.m. state budget deals could be a thing of the past, under a bill approved by the state Senate Tuesday afternoon.
The vote was 30-3 in favor of a requirement that lawmakers not pass a budget until there’s a report on the Internet which lists earmarks – extra spending that benefits local areas, in which the sponsors are sometimes never identified.
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau would prepare the report, and it would list all earmark items – how much they cost – and which lawmakers benefit.
Conference committees would be barred from adding earmarks after each house passes its version of a budget.
The purpose is to prohibit spur-of-the-moment spending items in the middle of the night, to round up votes for a budget that often passes before dawn’s early light.
Three Democrats voted against the process – Minority Leader Mark Miller of Monona, former Senate President Fred Risser of Madison, and Lena Taylor of Milwaukee.
The measure now goes to the Assembly.