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Dairy research could be bipartisan -- Donald Miner

Staff WriterMay 18, 2019

The article in Sunday’s State Journal ” Millions eyed for research ” illustrates the problem with our state Legislature and its process. It may be that more money needs to be appropriated to research at University of Wisconsin System campuses to help the struggling dairy industry. But state Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, and 27 other Republicans have taken a partisan path to address the problem.

Statutes create a governance process at System campuses, which is designed to provide input on decisions from the faculty through the administration to the UW Board of Regents to form a budget request for state funding. Rather than following that process, the Republican caucus drafted a bill to address the issue. They only consulted parts of the university and industry wanting the funding and didn’t solicit any sponsorship from the Democrats.

They could have solicited public briefings on the problem through Sen. Marklein’s Committee on Agriculture, Revenue and Financial Institutions first, and then developed a bipartisan bill or introduced the need into the 2019-21 biennial state budget process.

Such partisan moves illustrate the inability of the Republicans in the Legislature to collaborate and reach across the aisle and their disregard for established processes. Let’s hope this need is addressed as part of restructuring the priorities of the state through the next budget rather than through single issue legislation.

Donald Miner, Madison

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