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Yes.

A report from the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau said the Department of Administration should “increase the transparency and clarity” about how the state allocates federal funding. 

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has the authority to spend the money through the DOA. Republicans are pushing a constitutional amendment to give lawmakers authority over the spending.

The report said the DOA and governor’s office did not provide details about the decisions to allocate $412.6 million toward nine programs, beyond already public information like press releases.

The audit agency said the department should document how funding decisions are made and include details about future spending on a website.

Wisconsin has about $1.8 billion in federal money remaining, and the DOA has plans for using most of the funds.

The DOA responded that there was a need for “expediency” to respond to the pandemic and economy.

Sources

Wisconsin Legislature: Decisions About the Use of Supplemental Federal Funds: Department of Administration

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The Assembly has approved a constitutional amendment giving the Republican-controlled Legislature power over federal funds

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Hope Karnopp / Wisconsin WatchReporting intern

Hope Karnopp joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism major and is pursuing certificates in public policy and environmental studies at UW-Madison. Hope previously covered state politics as an intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also works with the Daily Cardinal and hosts a radio segment about campus news for WORT-FM, which has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club.