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Gov. Walker reveals some surprises in budget address


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker announced most, but not all of his major state budget proposals during the past few weeks.

But Governor Walker did save some surprises for Wednesday, when he submitted his two-year spending package to the Legislature and delivered a 40 minute speech about it.

In a written budget summary, the Republican Walker said he wanted to end the practice of double-dipping by state and local public employees who retire, return to government work, and then collect both a pension and a paycheck.

The purpose is for the returnees to mind the store until their replacements get hired. But it became a bone of contention after a UW-Green Bay official joined many others who retired out of fear that Walker would cut into their pensions – only to come back to the same job later in a pre-arranged deal with his bosses.

Under Walker’s budget measure, retirees would have to wait 75 days to return to government service instead of the present 30 days – and if they work more than two-thirds of a full schedule, they’d have to stop taking pension money and pay into the retirement system again.

Also, Walker’s budget summary mentioned ways to make it easier for rent to own businesses to operate in Wisconsin.

Lawmakers previously raised concerns about interest charges in those outfits. The governor did not give details of what he had in mind.

Also, you can expect more surprises as journalists, special interests, and Walker opponents dig into the details of the $68 billion budget in the coming weeks.