Sen. Shilling, Rep. Doyle hold budget proposal listening session

La Crosse area residents voice opinions on proposal to lawmakers

People in the La Crosse area are voicing their opinions on Wisconsin’s proposed state budget.

Representative Steve Doyle and State Senator Jennifer Shilling held a listening session at the West Salem Library Monday morning. It’s just one of several listening sessions being held across the state by lawmakers.

Rep. Doyle says it’s important to get out and meet the people being affected by budget decisions.

“When we’re in Madison, we hear about the numbers and we hear about the programs and everything, but it’s this kind of thing where we hear about the people,” said Rep. Doyle. “That’s really what a budget is all about is the impact on people’s lives, whether it be education or healthcare services or what have you.”

La Crosse resident Margaret Wood made the trip to West Salem to take the opportunity to speak directly to her representatives.

“Democracy is all about participation,” said Wood. “Right now this is a proposed budget, and unless the citizens of Wisconsin weigh in on how they feel about it, it may or may not be representative of our real values.”

Wood appreciates that Doyle and Shilling are taking the time to hold the session.

“I think it’s wonderful that our local legislators come and sit down and listen to what we have to say so that they can take our voices back to Madison,” said Wood.

Doyle agrees, and says hearing the voices of the people is a valuable part of the process.

“Budgets are the impact that the state has on their lives, whether as a good thing or a bad thing, and we need to hear about that. We need to hear what the people themselves say the budget means to them,” said Doyle.

The state budget is expected to be finalized by July.