Newsmakers: Dept. of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch on Budget Repair Bill
Mike Huebsch, who resigned from the state Assembly to run the state Department of Administration, said in a Newsmakers interview on Feb. 17 that Gov. Scott Walker must sharply cut state aid for public schools and to local governments. Facing a $3.6-billion deficit in the two-year budget that begins July 1, Walker will give the Legislature the first "honest" budget in years, Huebsch said. Responding to fears that the cut in state aid will devastate Milwaukee Public Schools, Huebsch said making state, teachers and local government workers pay more for pensions and health care will give MPS and all other school districts "tools" to manage those cuts in state aid. Huebsch said public school teachers who force schools to close when they call in sick to protest protest Walker’s changes are "flirting" with breaking state law, which prohibits public employee strikes. Huebsch also said UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin has made a convincing case that the largest four-year campus should have more operating autonomy.