Wisconsin Geospatial News

Governor’s Budget Vetoes are Significant for Land Information Program

“Governor Doyle signed the biennial budget earlier this week with several vetoes significant to the Land Information grant program. The impacts of the vetoes are identified below.

The Legislature proposed changing the land program appropriation from a continuing appropriation to an annual appropriation. This technical change would limit the land information program’s responsiveness to provide grants because any award of available program revenue funds above the appropriation allocation would have required approval from the Legislature’s Committee on Joint Finance. At the end of every fiscal year, the land account would likely have accumulated a balance that would be unavailable for grants for land records modernization efforts. The Governor vetoed this change and preserved the continuing appropriation for the land program. This veto will preserve the flexibility of the program to award grants to counties for land records modernization and prevent the program from needing legislative approval of all grants above the legislature’s appropriation allocation.

The Legislature proposed preventing DOA from providing grants to any county that has more than $45,000 in retained fees. This would have eliminated more than half of Wisconsin counties from eligibility for grants from the Land Information program. In addition, the legislature proposed capping land information grants to the difference between $45,000 and the amount of revenue retained by the county. The Governor vetoed this provision and will preserve the eligibility of all counties, regardless of the amount of retained fees, to receive base budget, strategic initiative and contribution based grants. Eligibility for Base Budget grants remains the same as in previous years.

The Legislature lapsed $464,100 in 2006 and $420,300 in 2007 from the land appropriation to the state’s general fund. Although the Governor was able to restore the continuing appropriation status for the land programs, he was not able to restore the Legislature’s lapse from the land appropriation. ”

More information: Governor Doyle’s veto message