Matt Rothschild
Campaign Cash

Walker Would End State Property Insurance

Local governments then must buy from private insurers, who donated to Walker

By , Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Mar 14th, 2017 10:10 am
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Milwaukee City Hall

Milwaukee City Hall

Wisconsin’s local governments and school districts would be forced to buy property insurance on the private market under a plan in Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget.

The plan is nearly identical to one that Walker offered two years ago in his last budget, but the item was removed by the legislature. At the time, numerous local governments opposed eliminating the state’s Local Government Property Insurance Fund, which was started in 1911. They claimed insurance on the private market would likely cost taxpayers sharply more than buying it through the state program.

At its peak, the fund provided insurance coverage for nearly 1,100 counties, cities, villages, towns and school districts. But today the fund insures fewer than 200 local governments. The fund has been forced to borrow taxpayer dollars and sharply increase premiums after large payouts between 2010 and 2014.

The legislature will consider Walker’s proposed budget in the next few months and send it back to the governor for final approval this summer.

The biggest beneficiaries of the fund’s hard times, and possible demise, are property and casualty insurers, which contributed about $254,600 in individual and political action committee contributions to Walker between January 2011 and December 2016.

Current legislators accepted about $48,000 in campaign contributions from property and casualty insurers between January 2011 and December 2016. Most of those contributions – about $44,000 – went to Republicans, who control both houses of the legislature.

Top legislative recipients of contributions from the property and casualty insurance industry between January 2011 and December 2016 were GOP Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, $5,000; Republican Rep. John Nygren, of Marinette, $4,210; the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee, $3,050; and GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, of Juneau, $2,550.

Matthew Rothschild is executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

2 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Walker Would End State Property Insurance”

  1. Jeff w. says:

    Is there anyone out there who can’t figure out why these corporations give large campaign donations to politicians ?

  2. Doug says:

    Um, wait. For health insurance for his employees he’s all gung ho to “self insure” because it’s going to save money (yeah right) but for this he wants to go to the private market?

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