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Nass will seek 12th assembly term

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STANLEY B. MILAM
April 17, 2012
— In his nearly 22 years in the state Assembly, Rep. Steve Nass, R-Town of La Grange, has remained a strict fiscal conservative regardless of the party in power.

That consistency has paid off in 11 successful campaigns. Nass says he’ll try to make it 12 in a row.


Nass’ re-election in November would ensure a continuing critical eye on the University of Wisconsin System. He’s been called a lot of things for the tough questions he asks about the university system, and Nass has no problem with that.


“Taxpayer money funding the system exceeds $1 billion,” Nass said Monday. “As chairman of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, it’s my role to make sure that that money is spent wisely. I see my role as a watchdog for taxpayers.


“If people want to criticize me for that, well, that’s fine,” he said. “I look at it as doing my job.”


Nass was elected to the Assembly in 1990. His interest in higher education issues developed after serving on several committees.


Over the next 16 years, Nass earned a reputation as someone who can be counted on to be looking closely at UW System expenditures and personnel policy. Last session, he found an issue that involves both policy and taxpayer dollars.


“It started out at UW-Green Bay where we found that employees were retiring and then turning right around and getting hired back,” Nass said. “These retired employees were double-dipping, and the taxpayers were paying the bill. We dug deeper and found out two additional problems—there’s a legal question because some of these arrangements were made ahead of time before the retirement, and double dipping is going on in other state agencies.”


Nass says he’ll revive his bill outlawing double dipping in state government, and he’ll continue to challenge Democrats and Republicans to balance the state budget.


“I’ve disagreed with former Republican governors Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum and former Democratic governor Jim Doyle, and I’ve voted against their budgets,” Nass said. “I’ll continue to oppose wasteful spending, and I’ll continue to support efforts to balance our spending with revenue.”



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