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Sunday Feedback: These parts of state budget need to go

1:31 PM, Jun. 19, 2013  |  Comments
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos speaks in defense of the state budget during debate on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)
Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos speaks in defense of the state budget during debate on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Scott Bauer)
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Each Wednesday afternoon, we post online a draft version of the next Sunday's editorial. We want to know what you think! Leave us your feedback in a comment on this story, on our Facebook page, via Twitter by tweeting to @WDHOpinions or by emailing opinion@wdhprint.com.

We'll incorporate reader feedback into the final version of the editorial, and on Sunday we'll publish selections of the responses on the topic. Please share your thoughts by the end of the day Thursday.

Gov. Walker, veto these parts of state budget

In the state budget debate, a handful of big-ticket items - school vouchers, Medicaid and tax cuts - have tended to receive all the attention. All of these policies are important. But the budget also contains a number of other policies that do not belong there. Here are some of the lowlights:

? Don't punish the Center for Investigative Journalism. The budget would kick the public-service-journalism program, which is privately funded, out of its University of Wisconsin-Madison offices, and it would bar UW professors from collaborating with the Center, which is privately funded. It is an outrageous abuse of power for the Legislature to target a single journalistic operation. There is no justification for this policy and it needs to go.

? We don't need bail bondsmen. There is no campaign from the public or legal professionals to change the state's longstanding ban on bail bonds businesses, and what little job growth the industry could provide is outweighed by the risks to public safety. This policy is not needed.

? No giveaways to payday lenders. Payday lenders provide short-term loans at outrageous interest rates to poor people who need money quickly, and who very often descend into destructive spirals of debt, taking loans to pay other loans or making only minimum payments while their overall debt grows and grows. Wisconsin reined in payday lending practices several years ago. Incredibly, this budget would give these lenders more power. That's not what's needed.

Many of the nonfiscal policies have very weak justifications. Others have barely been debated at all. We'd be better off without them.

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