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Sincerely,
Helene Nelson
Secretary
State of Wisconsin
Office of State Employment Relations
November 2003
The Honorable, The Senate:
I am pleased to submit the Veterans Employment Report for July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003. The report, pursuant to s. 230.04(9)(em), Wis. Stats., summarizes veteran new hires and employee statistics for state agencies and units of the university of Wisconsin System.
Please contact Demetri Fisher, Administrator of the Division of Affirmative Action, at 266-3017 or email: Demetri.fisher@oser.state.wi.us if you have any questions or need additional information regarding the report.
Sincerely,
Demetri Fisher
Administrator
State of Wisconsin
Legislative Audit Bureau
November 19, 2003
The Honorable, The Legislature:
At the request of the Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS), we have completed a financial audit of the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan (HIRSP) for fiscal year (FY) 2001-02. HIRSP provides medical and prescription drug insurance for approximately 17,000 policyholders who are unable to obtain coverage in the private market. We have provided an unqualified opinion on HIRSP's financial statements and have followed up on issues raised in prior audits.
One of these issues relates to HIRSP's financial stability. Actions taken to implement an accrual-based funding approach in response to prior audit recommendations have helped to reduce the accounting deficit from $8.2 million as of June 30, 2001, to $5.5 million as of June 30, 2002. Further, based on preliminary unaudited financial statements, the deficit was less that $1.0 million as of June 30, 2003. However, the elimination of general-purpose revenue (GPR) support beginning in FY 2003-04, together with increasing enrollment and claims costs, presents continuing challenges to the management and funding of HIRSP. Enrollment increased 16.9 percent, and claims costs increased 27.8 percent, during FY 2002-03. The loss of GPR, which totaled $10.2 million in FY 2002-03, is now covered by policyholders, insurers, and health care providers.
DHFS has taken steps to address prior concerns with its loss estimates and administrative billings. Current procedures call for increased review of actuarial loss estimates. DHFS also has streamlined its fee structure for the services of the HIRSP administrator, which had simplified billing and monitoring of administrative invoices.
Finally, DHFS has improved the system for pharmacy claims by using a pharmacy benefit management company beginning in FY 2001-02. However, oversight of pharmacy claims, which totaled $23.1 million in FY 2001-02 and $32.4 million in FY 2002-03, could be further improved through independent reviews of the company's controls.
We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation extended to us by DHFS and the plan administrator for HIRSP. A response from DHFS follows the appendix.
Sincerely,
Janice Mueller
State Auditor
State of Wisconsin
Legislative Audit Bureau
November 25, 2003
The Honorable, The Legislature:
We have completed an evaluation of the Department of Transportation's (DOT's) major highway program, as requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. In fiscal year (FY) 2002-03, DOT's total budget was $2.4 billion; the major highway program's portion of the budget was $241.6 million. In September 2003, 32 major highway projects were being planned or were under construction.
S499 Major highway program funds can be used only for new construction projects that are specifically enumerated in statutes. To help determine the reasons for cost increases that occur between enumeration and completion, we reviewed seven current projects. We found that the estimated cost for each had increased by at least $20.0 million since enumeration. The discretion DOT currently exercises in project selection, location, and design greatly affected these projects' costs.
We attempted to track the cost of complying with state and federal environmental laws, but the information DOT maintains on these expenditures is incomplete. DOT estimates that in FY 2001-02-the latest year for which data are available-these costs totaled $29.1 million; however, contractors provided us with other examples of costs not included in DOT's estimates. We include a recommendation for improving DOT's monitoring of environmental expenditures.
We compared Wisconsin's transportation funding sources, spending, and highway conditions with other midwestern states'. Wisconsin is in the middle in state highway spending and conditions, but it relies on a narrower funding base and is increasingly using bonding for the highway program. As debt service increases, the amount of funds available to support future projects decreases. We list a number of challenges DOT and the Legislature will face as they seek to maintain the existing highways or expand the system to meet safety, economic development, and other needs. We also include a number of recommendations for improving DOT's estimating and cost-reporting processes.
We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation extended to us by DOT staff. The agency's response follows the appendices.
Sincerely,
Janice Mueller
State Auditor
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ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE
State of Wisconsin
Office of the Governor
November 21, 2003
The Honorable, The Senate:
I am pleased to nominate and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint Farmer , Douglas L., of La Crosse, as a member of the Banking Review Board, to serve for the term ending May 1, 2007.
Sincerely,
JIM DOYLE
Governor
Read and referred to committee on Agriculture, Financial Institutions and Insurance.
State of Wisconsin
Office of the Governor
November 17, 2003
The Honorable, The Senate:
I am pleased to nominate and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint Landes , Samuel J., of Dane, as a member of the Snowmobile Recreational Council, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2005.
Sincerely,
JIM DOYLE
Governor
Read and referred to committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
State of Wisconsin
Office of the Governor
November 21, 2003
The Honorable, The Senate:
I am pleased to nominate and with the advice and consent of the Senate, do appoint Parr , Ada Williams, of Brown Deer, as a member of the Marriage and Family Therapy Professional Counseling and Social Work Examining Board, to serve for the term ending July 1, 2006.
Sincerely,
JIM DOYLE
Governor
Read and referred to committee on Health, Children, Families, Aging and Long Term Care.
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referrals and receipt of committee reports concerning proposed administrative rules
Relating to extension of disciplinary action time limits.
Submitted by Department of Regulation and Licensing.
Report received from Agency, November 24, 2003.
Referred to committee on Health, Children, Families, Aging and Long Term Care, November 26, 2003.
Relating to pipeline safety regulations.
Submitted by Public Service Commission.
Report received from Agency, November 25, 2003.
Referred to committee on Energy and Utilities, November 26, 2003.
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Chief Clerk's Report
The Chief Clerk records:
Senate Bill 170
Presented to the Governor on November 20, 2003.
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Chief Clerk's Report
The Chief Clerk records:
Senate Bill 29
Senate Bill 38
Senate Bill 53
Presented to the Governor on November 24, 2003.
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