Rep. Kleefisch refuses to talk about withdrawing bill - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Rep. Kleefisch refuses to talk about withdrawing child support bill


MADISON (WKOW) -- A Republican state assemblyman has dropped a controversial child support bill after admitting it was partially written by a rich constituent who could have benefited from it.

Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) released a statement Tuesday to announce that he was pulling AB 540, partly to due to "frustration from the amount of misinformation the bill has encountered."

Rep. Kleefisch admitted to the Wisconsin State-Journal last week that Michael Eisenga, a wealthy donor to his campaign and the former mayor of Columbus, helped write the legislation in order to reduce his $15,000 a month child support payments.  The bill would have exempted income above $150,000 a year from child support calculations.

Rep. Kleefisch wouldn't say exactly what the "misinformation" was he was referring to in the statement and didn't want to speak to 27 News about the issue at all Tuesday.

"I released a statement today, you can use that if you like," Rep. Kleefisch told 27 News.

"I think that the issue that swirled around of why he did it, who was involved in the drafting, I think that got to be a distraction from the main goal of what was supposed to be concept of the bill," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), who claims he did not force Kleefisch to withdraw AB 540.

Speaker Vos says he believes the idea behind the bill is to make sure that child support is not used as spousal maintenance.  Vos says that is a worthy objective and believes the bill could be brought up again in a future session.

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