The Legislature’s budget committee on Tuesday approved state funding for five of six Elections Commission staff positions that have been supported by federal grant that’s set to run out, dismissing Gov. Scott Walker’s recommendation to cut all six of them. The governor argued that the commission can handle its workload without the positions that had been supported by the federal Help America Vote Act passed in 2002. But state and local elections officials disagreed, arguing that the jobs were critically important to ensuring that Wisconsin’s elections are properly run.
Republicans who control the Joint Finance Committee agreed to allocate about $304,000 in state money to fund five spots, but they rejected arguments from Democrats who said it was vital to keep all six. “This isn’t horseshoes. This isn’t how close you can get,” said Democratic Sen. Lena Taylor, of Milwaukee. “Let’s not pretend to be with them, let’s be with them fully.”
… Democratic Rep. Gordon Hintz said Republicans were “nickel and diming” the commission by only approving five of the six positions, setting it up for failure.
“If election integrity is a good thing we should do the right thing and fund their request,” Hintz said.