MADISON, Wis – Senators David Craig, R-Town of Vernon, and Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, and Representatives Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, and Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin, are celebrating sunshine week by introducing two bills that would bring greater transparency to government leasing practices.
Senator Craig and Representative Sanfelippo introduced Assembly Bill 66. Assembly Bill 66 received a public hearing today in the Assembly Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight.
Rep. Sanfelippo said, “This bill makes the state leasing process more effective, efficient, and transparent by requiring more information on the potential relocation of state agencies to a location that is closest to the people it serves most.”
The bill would require agencies to present alternative options for locating their offices within the area where they provide the most services. Doing so would allow for more efficient delivery of services and also result in lower per square foot cost.
“This bill simply requires consideration of options that would save millions of tax dollars spent on government leases. The costs and savings brought to light by these studies will increase public accountability and give leverage to our state to negotiate better lease rates,” said Senator Craig.
Senator Kapenga and Representative Hutton recently circulated LRB-1654 for co-sponsorship. It would require the Department of Administration to do a cost-benefit analysis to compare the government per square foot rate with comparable commercial leases.
“These bills will provide legislators and the public with an important tool to better understand the costs associated with the state’s physical footprint. By increasing transparency and accountability in our current process, we can make government operate in a more efficient and effective manner,” said Senator Chris Kapenga.
In addition, all leases above $500,000 would have to be signed by the Secretary of the DOA and be submitted for a 14-day passive review by the Joint Finance Committee.
“One of the greatest cost drivers for government is their physical property cost. By introducing these bills to create transparency in the leasing process, we are creating another layer of appropriate accountability to protect the hardworking taxpayers we represent,” said Representative Hutton.