Katrina Shankland
Press Release

Rep. Shankland, Sen. Hansen Unveil Proposal to Protect Wisconsin Taxpayers

Bill Would Require Gov. Walker, Others Running for Federal Office to Report and Swiftly Reimburse Travel Expenses

By - Aug 24th, 2015 12:20 pm
Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

MADISON – Assembly Assistant Democratic Leader Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) today unveiled a new legislative proposal to promote taxpayer transparency and accountability on travel and security expenses. The bill offers full transparency to the taxpayers and holds elected officials accountable, so the people of Wisconsin can be assured that they are not paying for campaign-related trips.

“These days, Gov. Scott Walker is more difficult to find in Wisconsin than the Milwaukee Lion,” Sen. Hansen said. “While Gov. Walker travels the country and the world to run for president, the people of Wisconsin are all too often footing the bill for his travels. Wisconsin taxpayers should not have to pay for Gov. Walker’s – or any state elected official’s – trips that are primarily for seeking higher office.”

Under the proposal, any state official who is running for – or even considering running for – higher office would be required to submit a monthly travel form with the Government Accountability Board that explains what costs were incurred and who paid for them. The form would include basic details such as the travel itinerary and itemized lists of expenses – including travel and security costs – and whether it was for a campaign-related trip or a government one.

“Only 33 percent of people in Wisconsin like Gov. Walker’s decision to run for president, yet 100 percent of taxpayers are paying for him to travel the world and pander for Republican primary votes,” Rep. Shankland said. “This bill is about accountability to taxpayers, it’s about being fully upfront with the people of this state, and it is about making sure that our precious tax dollars aren’t being used to bankroll a presidential campaign – or any campaign.”

In addition to providing transparency, this legislation would also hold elected officials accountable by requiring that any campaign costs incurred by taxpayers be reimbursed in a timely manner. Taxpayers are currently waiting months and months to find out how much taxpayers will pay for Gov. Walker’s travels overseas. Under this proposal, taxpayers will be swiftly reimbursed. All expenses must be paid within 30 days of the filing of the report and if the costs are not reimbursed within a month, a $500 per day penalty will be assessed until paid in full.

Rep. Shankland and Sen. Hansen today circulated their bill for co-sponsorship (memo attached here and bill attached here). They hope to gain bipartisan support for this common-sense legislation.

Quick Facts

  • DOA Figures for Gov. Walker Security Costs:
    • 2011 – $1.6 million
    • 2012 – $1.9 Million
    • 2013 – $2.2 million
    • 2014 – $2.4 million
  • Out-of-state Security Travel Tab for Walker:
    • 2013 – $60,307
    • 2014 – $89,454
  • DOA reports that taxpayers paid $138,200 for Walker’s February trip to Great Britain
  • The cost of Walker’s five day trip to Israel: still unknown
  • The cost of Walker’s trip to Germany, France and Spain in April: still unknown
  • The cost of Walker’s six day trip to Canada in June: still unknown
  • Final two-year cost of Doyle security:
    • 2009 – $570,877
    • 2010 – $657,458

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