News of the future! Well, wait, we’ll get to that in a few moments. First, news of the past.
Every two years, the governor and Legislature labor mightily to come up with a new budget for Wisconsin. It’s a great and curious tradition that in the process of doing this, they add in stuff that doesn’t have much, if anything, to do with spending. Those who control the steering wheel and gas on this unwieldly vehicle are sometimes willing to fill it with surprising passengers.
Using the state budget as a vehicle, things like a statewide private school voucher program suddenly have strolled out of the back rooms in the Capitol in Madison in the smallest hours of the morning and — presto! — they’re state law, without any notice, public hearings or meaningful debate. (Yes, this really happened in 2013.)