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Gov. Walker Vetoes Payday Lending Grab-Bag, Misses the Mark on WisDOT Audit
MADISON - Governor Walker today signed Wisconsin’s 2015-17 biennial budget, announcing a list of line-item vetoes. Following widespread opposition, the Governor struck provisions that would have dramatically expanded payday lenders’ authority to sell predatory financial products to Wisconsin consumers. Governor Walker also vetoed a request that the Legislative Audit Committee conduct a performance evaluation of WisDOT’s State Highway Program, including a review of the Department’s questionable highway projections.
WISPIRG Director Peter Skopec issued the following statement:
“In vetoing what would have been a sweeping expansion of payday lenders’ authority, Governor Walker did the right thing for Wisconsin consumers. At the same time, the Governor failed to join the legislature in calling for an audit of WisDOT that could save taxpayers billions in future budget cycles.
“We’re pleased to see the Governor veto outrageous payday lending provisions that would have brought sweeping changes to consumer protections in Wisconsin. Payday loans trap consumers in a spiral of growing debt, with detrimental impacts for low-income borrowers and for the state’s economy.
“We can’t afford to make it even easier for abusive lenders to prey on borrowers in our state. Vetoing these provisions was the only right thing to do for Wisconsin consumers and for a fair financial marketplace.
“While the transportation budget rightly cuts the unnecessary proposed expansion of the I-94 East-West Corridor in Milwaukee, we are disappointed that Governor Walker chose not to support an audit of WisDOT’s State Highway Program. We have to fix Wisconsin’s transportation spending priorities to ensure a functioning, 21st-century transportation system for the state. That begins with a close look at WisDOT’s faulty traffic forecasts that have led to billions of dollars wasted on questionable highway expansions while existing infrastructure has been left to crumble.
“The Governor failed to join the legislature in calling for greater scrutiny in how we spend on transportation infrastructure in Wisconsin. We urge the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to nonetheless conduct an audit of WisDOT’s State Highway Program, which could help save taxpayers billions of dollars in future budget cycles."
WISPIRG, the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organization that takes on powerful interests on behalf of its members, working to win concrete results for good government, public health and Wisconsin consumers.
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