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Walker Aide Pressed For Budget Answers During Committee Meeting

Huebsch To Leave DOA For Public Service Commission

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

A top aide to Gov. Scott Walker offered few details on Monday when pressed by state lawmakers for answers about key pieces of the governor’s proposed state budget.

Speaking to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, Mike Huebsch, the outgoing Department of Administration secretary, declined to answer a variety of specific questions, including how much extra interest the state would owe by not repaying $108 million in bonding this fiscal year.

Huebsch was also asked by Republican state Sen. Luther Olsen of Ripon why Walker’s budget proposal gave voucher students a $170 per pupil “bump” while public school children got a $130 cut.

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“I understand how it mechanically went, it’s just, what’s the theory behind it?” Olsen said.

Olsen rephrased the question a couple times, but Huebsch didn’t answer, and they eventually moved on to other topics.

Another question involved how Walker granted pay raises to his security detail at a time when they’re traveling with him to campaign stops around the country.

The $4-an-hour raise for Walker’s security detail was first reported by WKOW-TV in Madison. It came after Republican lawmakers rejected a 17-percent pay raise the Walker administration wanted for all state troopers.

At the budget briefing, Huebsch was pressed on how often Walker was traveling with his security detail.

“The bottom line is the security detail of the governor is to oversee the protection of the governor no matter where the governor happens to be,” Huebsch said.

To which, Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach took issue.

“I understand the governor has to have security wherever the governor goes, but the governor doesn’t have to do every single political thing under the sun, which it seems like he’s doing right now,” Erpenbach said.

The raises will reportedly cost the state about $37,000.

While Huebsch is leaving the DOA for the Public Service Commission, he ran the agency when Walker developed this budget.