Walker top aide defends budget under questioning

Walker top aide defends budget under questioning

Gov. Scott Walker’s top aide is defending his $76 billion budget proposal under questioning from lawmakers.

Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel said Tuesday that the budget invests in the state’s priorities by sending more money to K-12 schools, cuts tuition at the University of Wisconsin and addresses the most pressing road and building maintenance needs.

But Republican Joint Finance Committee co-chair Rep. John Nygren is questioning whether Walker’s proposal to move to a self-insurance model for state employees makes sense. And Nygren is also questioning increasing borrowing to pay for roads and whether enough is being done to address maintenance and upkeep for state buildings.

Neitzel’s testimony is kicking off three days of agency briefings before the committee holds six public hearings over the next two weeks.