Wisconsin’s Green Fire Supports a Safe and Accessible Budget Process
WI Green Fire, March 11, 2021
With the state budget process underway, WGF has joined 100+ local and statewide organizations to encourage the Joint Finance Committee Co-Chairs to set up an approach for testimony and engagement on the proposed budget that welcomes the voices and experience of all people in Wisconsin. Over the last few months, leaders in the Wisconsin Legislator have been holding meetings and hearings without requiring attendees to wear masks or offering a video option for those who don’t feel safe attending hearings.
In order to make the budget process safe and accessible for all the letter calls for:
•Establishing an e-mail address for the Joint Finance Committee expressly for collecting testimony for inclusion into the public record.
•Establishing an online version of the hearing slip that can be used anywhere in the state by constituents to register their position on the budget similar to what they could fill out if they attended in person.
•Developing clear, consistent language and instructions for the public on how they may register and submit testimony remotely.
•Allowing use of virtual platforms for remote testimony.
•Considering providing a limited (by registration) call-in option for individuals to provide remote testimony if they do not have access to the internet, do not have a computer, or have poor broadband.
•Ensuring there are clear guidelines and notices posted online and in other places to help people understand all testimony options.
•Coordinating with state expertise (such as the Department of Health Services media team) to maximize accessibility for constituents with sensory disabilities on virtual platforms.
•Partnering with Wisconsin Eye to provide captioning and ASL interpreters for hearing impaired individuals for all public hearings using this service.