We stand united as a diverse coalition of Wisconsin healthcare organizations against the Budget Bill’s proposed elimination and consolidation of boards and councils under the Department of Safety and Professional Services (“DSPS”). (See LFB Summary of Governor’s Budget Recommendations, pp. 399-402, Item 2). We urge you to oppose this Budget Bill provision – which impacts approximately 35,000 Wisconsin health professionals – because it:
Weakens regulatory structures that protect public health and safety;
Undermines the development of profession-specific expertise by specialized healthcare boards and councils;
Fails to provide meaningful cost savings to the state; and
Decreases administrative efficiencies at DSPS.
The Current Board and Council Structure at DSPS is Working Under current law, the independent healthcare boards and councils at DSPS are comprised primarily of professionals who practice in the specialty for which they are given regulatory oversight or regarding which they serve in an advisory role. As a result, the boards and councils possess profession-specific knowledge that allows for the greatest possible protection of public health and safety. However, the Budget Bill provision dilutes the profession-specific expertise that each board and council has developed by transferring their regulatory authority to a larger and more generalized governing board.
The Budget Bill Provision Creates Negligible Cost Savings and Efficiencies Over the 2017-2019 biennium, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reports that eliminating specialized healthcare boards and councils (as well as other changes at DSPS) achieves a mere $50,800 in program revenue cost savings and the termination of a single, half-time FTE position. These minimal cost savings and insignificant administrative efficiencies do not justify the risk to public health and safety created by the Budget Bill provision.