Some of Walker’s proposals appear to be policy changes with little or no fiscal impact. Wisconsin governors and lawmakers from both parties have often injected these into the budget. Walker, as a candidate for governor in 2010, made an unequivocal pledge to “strip policy and pork projects from the state budget.” By his first budget, this promise was labeled “broken.”
Gov. Scott Walker has announced plans to change course and seek full federal funding of a program that helps people with disabilities find jobs. Advocates at Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Rehabilitation Council credit a report by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism for new legislation aiming to fully fund the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, an arm of the state Department of Workforce Development.
Thousands of people with disabilities must wait for months to access state employment services, although the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation has not requested the full amount of federal funds available to it for the past three years, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has found.
The group contends that alternatives like day reporting centers, electronic monitoring and treatment courts for people with substance abuse and mental health problems have been proven to be not only cheaper but more effective. It’s asking the Legislature to add $75 million for such programs to the state’s upcoming two-year budget.