Darling Demands “Wisconsin Shares” Reform

Sept. 3, 2009

MADISON… Additional revelations of potentially rampant fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program have sparked a new round of justifiable outrage from Wisconsin taxpayers says Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills). Darling says the latest examples of scammers apparently defrauding the taxpayer-subsidized child care program for low-income parents have her constituents demanding action.


“People are asking me what the state is doing to stop crooks from robbing taxpayers,” said Darling. “I’m recommending we attack this problem from several angles.”


First, Darling is supportive of the excellent ongoing audits of Wisconsin Shares that are being conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau. A June 2009 audit, for instance, uncovered the fact that a couple two-by two mile quadrants in the City of Milwaukee had 451 subsidized child care providers while other areas of the City didn’t even have close to that number. The next audit is expected to be completed by December 1st. Darling says these audits help identify scams and give legislators direction on how it can best eliminate fraud. Darling first called for an audit of Wisconsin Shares in 2003.


Second, Darling is working with colleagues on bipartisan bills to both recoup payments made to scam artists and also prevent bad actors from running taxpayer-subsidized child care operations.


Third, Darling is demanding that Governor Doyle’s Administration immediately ramp up its oversight efforts to finally get this program under control.


Fourth, Darling is urging that anyone found guilty of defrauding taxpayers in a Wisconsin Shares scam be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


Darling says the theft of taxpayer dollars is particularly frustrating considering funds meant to defray child care costs for low-income working mothers apparently have gone toward luxury automobiles and homes instead of quality child care.


Darling also noted the new revelations of wasted taxpayer dollars have occurred just as new multi-million dollar tax increases passed by Democrats are going into effect.


“When a state program is hemorrhaging tax dollars because of fraud and lax oversight, it’s even tougher for taxpayers to swallow the Democrats’ rhetoric that they cut all the government spending and waste they possibly could and just had to raise taxes instead.”


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