Nygren/Vos Press Release: Irresponsible Budgeting Coming Home to Roost

FOR   IMMEDIATE   RELEASE                                         JULY 20, 2010                                 CONTACT:    REPRESENTATIVE JOHN NYGREN, (888) 534-0089

                        REPRESENTATIVE ROBIN VOS, (888) 534-0063

Irresponsible Budgeting Coming Home to Roost

Madison Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Robin Vos (R-Racine) were not surprised by the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision issued today repealing a $200 million raid of the Injured Patients and Family Compensation Fund (IPFCF).  In the 2007-09 budget, Governor Doyle proposed raiding the IPFCF to pay for an expansion of state government.  Representatives Nygren and Vos objected to this raid and voted against the budget.

“Governor Doyle’s irresponsible budgeting has driven Wisconsin into a fiscal black hole,” Vos said.  “This decision may force Wisconsin to take up a budget repair bill.  This isn’t a surprise considering since Governor Doyle took office he has been forced to introduce budget bailouts 6 times in 8 years.  Governor Doyle’s legacy will be one of irresponsible budgeting that has left Wisconsin in a disastrous fiscal situation.”

Governor Doyle has raided over $2 billion from segregated accounts since he took office.  The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau has reported that Wisconsin is facing a $2.5 billion deficit entering the 2011-13 budget season.  That is nearly a $1 billion higher general fund deficit than the current 2009-11 budget had.

“The IPFCF was created to lower medical malpractice costs and ensure families injured by medical errors were justly compensated,” Nygren said.  “Governor Doyle and his legislative followers broke a promise to families and the medical community when they raided the fund.  This raid has already driven up health care costs and is now going to contribute to an already huge state budget deficit.”

Because of a huge deficit in the IPFCF in 2009 caused by the raid, health care provider fees that contribute to the fund were increased and given a stamp of approval by Assembly Democrats serving on the Insurance Committee.  Representatives Nygren and Vos objected to that fee increase predicting the IPFCF raid would be repealed by the Supreme Court.