Featured: Evers’ professional service veto panned as ‘defending’ bureaucracy

Aug 15, 2023 | In The News, Oversight, Wisconsin Voices Blog

The following article featuring IRG’s Alex Ignatowski ran in Center Square Wisconsin on Friday, August 11.

(The Center Square) – Business and policy groups believe Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers used a recent veto to protect government bureaucracy, leaving many waiting on professional licenses from the state in limbo.

The bill would have required the state’s Department of Safety and Professional Services to investigate a weeks-long backlog for people needing license and report to the legislature.

Instead, Evers vetoed it, saying it would move department resources away from processing applications.

“I object to the Legislature requiring the department to provide arbitrary metrics that would not only not offer meaningful information to applicants but would divert critical resources away from the department’s goal of processing applications efficiently and effectively,” Evers said in his veto statement.

Lawmakers, as well as the people who need a license, have been complaining for a year about the weeks-to-months-long delay to get a professional license.

Alex Ignatowski, the Institute for Reforming Government’s director of state budget and government reforms told The Center Square the people waiting on a license deserve a better explanation from the governor.

“They should be asking, ‘What are they trying to hide?’ The hard-working Wisconsinites who have had to wait weeks and months for their occupational licenses to make it through the bureaucratic review process should be asking for more oversight of DSPS. They are failing the taxpayers and leaving middle class workers in limbo,” Ignatowski said.

Scott Manley, executive vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, also questioned why the governor doesn’t want a report on what’s happening at DSPS.

“It is infuriating to see so many Wisconsinites on a waitlist for a license just so they can work. AB 200 would have provided greater government transparency by allowing the public to see how many occupational licenses are backlogged and the average time it takes government to issue a license. Gov. Evers’ veto of this legislation was wrong and will just keep Wisconsinites in the dark about how his Administration is operating,” Manley told The Center Square.

Ignatowski believes the issue is more about protecting government than helping people.

“It’s obvious that the governor is trying to protect the bureaucracy from serious scrutiny here.” Ignatowski added. “It’s clear, you cannot know what you do not know and that is the way the governor would like to keep it. Simple reporting requirements give policymakers and the public a chance to see what is going wrong at DSPS. The people deserve to know what is happening at their government agencies and this transparency bill would have started to shed light on the issues.”

Read the full article here.