Dan Kapanke

Unnecessary Fee Increase Creates More Uncertainty for Main Street Businesses

Agency officials could not have picked a more devastating time to increase the cost of weights and measures fees for businesses across the state.  A proposal tucked inside last year's budget bill included a fee increase by the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and authorized the Department to determine the increase through the administrative rule process.

The administrative rule process is now underway and DATCP has approved a 300 percent increase on weights and measures fees from $100 to $420 that will target the pocketbook of grocery stores, co-ops and manufacturers in my district and throughout the state.  Businesses simply do not have unlimited resources to absorb this drastic increase from the state and ultimately the consumer will pay for it.

2009-2010 Legislative Report

It is a common practice for businesses to present a comprehensive annual report to their customers and shareholders.  Its purpose is to provide a summary on the company’s activities over the past year and its financial performance.  As taxpayers of the 32nd District, you deserve a report of the state government’s financial performance and its activities over the 2009-2010 legislative session as the general-floor period comes to an end.  A complete listing of all the bills that were signed into law is available on the Legislature’s web site at http://www.legis.state.wi.us.

Despite being a member of the minority party, I was able to find some common ground with my fellow democratic colleagues and author some important bills that were signed into law.

It’s Time to Reform Wisconsin’s Budget Laws

Why does Wisconsin need to change its budget laws?  The question can be answered with this parallel: as an individual budgeting for my personal expenses, it would be outrageous for me to think that I would have access to my neighbor’s finances in order to fill holes in my own budget.

On a larger scale, this is exactly what some State government leaders have been doing.  The State has been budgeting without restrictions and taxpayers are paying dearly for these undisciplined and short-sighted budget methods.

In last year’s budget, a total of $240,031,800 was taken from segregated funds such as the Transportation fund, Wireless 911 fund, Recycling fund and the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund to be used for purposes other than what they were intended for.

This is neither a fair nor sustainable method of budgeting.