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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

State Breaks the Law and Violates the State Constitution?

Today, the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) brings to attention two matters not required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards. The LAB found a $45.3 million loss as part of the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for fiscal year 2009-10. Governor Doyle’s administration transferred $19.4 million from one account with insufficient cash to cover the transfer and spent $25.9 million during 2009-10 and charged it to 2010-11 accounts. 

The LAB reports these transfers “…effectively converted anticipated future program revenue to GPR available for FY 2009-10. Moreover, $8.8 million was lapsed from program revenue appropriations without accounts receivable or other assets to cover their negative cash balances.” 

The audit also found a transfer “…to the General Fund in FY 2009-10 from the State’s Unclaimed Property program … Section 177.23, Wis. Stats., requires that proceeds from the Unclaimed Property program be transferred to the Common School Fund … conflict with both s. 177.23, Wis. Stats., and the Wisconsin Constitution.” Specifically, LAB stated that these transfers “would appear to be inconsistent with the intent of Article VII, s. 2 of the Wisconsin Constitution, which prohibits any expenditure of funds unless appropriated by law.”

The report found “FY 2009-10 Expenditures Charged to FY 2010-11 Accounts … inconsistent with the intent of Article VIII, s. 2 of the Wisconsin Constitution, which prohibits any expenditure of funds unless appropriated by law.”

Thank you to our award winning Legislative Audit Bureau for finding these transactions and bringing them to the Legislature’s attention.

Here is a link to the Legislative Audit Bureau’s report about the $45.3 million transactions: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lab/reports/11-cafr_jacltr.pdf

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