Kolste signs on to gun background check and budget bills
MADISON Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, has signed on to bills that would bar the addition of non-fiscal policy items to the state budget bill and would require universal background checks for gun purchases in Wisconsin.
“I have received many messages about background checks and most favor a fair and universal system for gun sales,’’ Kolste said. “Even those who ask me to protect their Second Amendment rights are telling me they support background checks.’’
The other bill would keep governors from packing the state budget with non-fiscal policy that might be difficult to pass as separate legislation, Kolste said.
“Governors of both parties have used the budget as a vehicle to put pet policies in place,’’ she said.
Gov. Tommy Thompson made the secretary of the Department of Natural Resources a political appointee in one of his budgets. Gov. Jim Doyle put the statewide smoking ban in a budget. Legislators removed that provision and passed it later as a separate bill.
“Gov. (Scott) Walker’s budget removes the limit on how much farm land can be purchased by foreign citizens,’’ Kolste said. “The budget makes it illegal for municipal governments to compel their employees to live within the municipality. The budget makes it illegal to hunt wolves at night.
“These things don’t belong in a budget,’’ Kolste said. “If they are good ideas, they should be presented as separate bills and passed individually.’’