Sen. Leah Vukmir was on the budget committee that quietly pushed through the repeal to Gov. Scott Walker who killed the anti-fraud law; while AG Brad Schimel advised repeal even though it means Wisconsin can recoup less money from corporate fraud
These startling revelations come from a new report from the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism that exposes the devastating impact of yet another example of Gov. Scott Walker and state Sen. Leah Vukmir-led actions putting corporations above Wisconsin taxpayers.
Quoted in the article, Stephen Kohn, head of the National Whistleblower Center, says of the False Claims Act: “Anyone who has weakened this law or repealed it is giving a green light to people to steal from the Wisconsin taxpayer. Now the most important tool for discouraging and preventing those rip-offs (at the state level) has been eliminated.”
According to the investigative report on Wisconsin Republicans’ repeal of the state’s False Claims Act:
Here’s who Wisconsin taxpayers can blame for selling them out to corporate special interests and “giving the green light” to fraud by repealing the anti-fraud law:
- State Senator Leah Vukmir was on the Joint Finance Committee and voted to adopt the measure when the committee without “hearings or even public discussion by the committee” slipped the anti-fraud law repeal measure into Wisconsin’s 2015 budget. At the time, Senator Alberta Darling, who spearheaded the effort, specifically referred questions on the measure to Vukmir. And when the budget came up for a final vote, Vukmir supported its passage, selling out Wisconsin taxpayers by including a repeal of the anti-fraud rule.
- Governor Scott Walker signed the anti-fraud law repeal into law on July 13, 2015, selling out taxpayers and dealing a blow to whistleblowers that help root out fraud.
- Attorney General Brad Schimel gave bad legal advice, incorrectly claiming the state would collect more money. According to a program supervisor for the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, if Schimel had provided accurate advice, the LFB “would have presented that information to the legislators as they considered the budget amendment.” Instead, that critical information was not provided, costing Wisconsin taxpayers. On the nationwide settlement against the makers of EpiPen alone, Wisconsin taxpayers lost out on nearly $700,000.