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JFC to consider several budget proposals Tuesday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Several high profile items in the proposed state budget will be up for committee endorsements Tuesday.

The Joint Finance panel is expected to decide whether childless adults on food stamps should lose their benefits if they don’t spend 20 hours a week searching and training for new jobs.

Monday, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau said around 30,000 people would drop out of the FoodShare program if the job search requirement was approved.

Also, the Finance panel will decide whether the governor should have the authority to sell off state properties – without having to get competitive bids – in order to help pay down the state’s debt.

For now, state officials say they’ll look to sell things like excess land that was never used for highway projects. UW officials are afraid that campus buildings could be sold in the future – and the student fee money which built those structures would pay for other things. 

The finance committee will also decide Tuesday whether the budget should ban double-dipping by public employees who retire, only to return a short time later and get both a pension and a paycheck.

The committee will vote on offering public employees the option of creating tax-free health savings accounts to pay for future benefits.

The finance panel will also consider ending discharge fees for Great Lakes shippers who must dump ballast water with the goal of controlling invasive species the boats might bring in.

Finally, the committee will consider spending almost a half-million dollars in environmental management fees to cover inspections for frac-sand mining facilities.