ALERT: Budget Hearing Start Times Announced

Blecha_testify_JFCAs you are probably aware, the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has scheduled six public hearings around the state on the governor’s 2017-19 state budget proposal.

With many interests competing for scarce budget dollars, school leaders need to make their voices heard.  This time, we have the advantage of the governor proposing a significant increase to schools in his budget and we need to make sure the legislature knows how important that investment is to our schools and the students they serve. WASB Government Relations staff (either Dan Rossmiller or Chris Kulow) will be in attendance to assist school board members in registering to testify at all of the hearings.


Hearing Details

The start times and specific locations for the hearings are as follows (Notice 1; Notice 2):

  • UW-Platteville (Ullsvick Hall), April 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    30 South Hickory Street Platteville, WI 53818 (Chris)
  • State Fair Park (Exposition Center), April 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    8200 West Greenfield Avenue West Allis, WI 53214 (Dan)
  • Berlin High School (Auditorium), April 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    222 Memorial Drive Berlin, WI 54923 (Chris)
  • Spooner High School (Auditorium), April 18, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    801 County Highway A Spooner, WI 54801 (Dan)
  • Ellsworth High School (Gymnasium), April 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    323 West Hillcrest Street Ellsworth, WI 54011 (Dan)
  • Marinette High School (Auditorium), April 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    2135 Pierce Avenue Marinette, WI 54143 (Chris)

Registering to Testify: The hearings begin at 10 a.m. but people will likely be lining up to register by 8:00 a.m. or earlier.  People are called to testify in the order they register so the sooner you register the earlier you will be called to speak. WASB staff will be there to assist but cannot fill out hearing slips for you or save you a spot in line. People line up and wait until the Capitol sergeant-at-arms staff starts registering people, which usually begins around 9:30 a.m. Testimony will likely be limited to two minutes per person or five minutes for groups of three or more. The JFC Co-Chairs tend to be strict on the time limits and you will be cut off when your time is up. It’s important to get straight to the points you wish to make.  You can provide written testimony or a handout to the committee members if you wish.  You can make additional points in your written materials. Please make sure you have at least 20 copies of any written materials you wish to share.

Resources to Help You Prepare Your Testimony

Keep in mind the time limits mentioned above. In talking to legislators on the JFC, it is important to lead with how crucial the increase of $200 per student in the first year and $204 per student in the second year in Per Pupil Aid is to your school district.  We also want to make the point that we support working off the governor’s proposal and not the base budget.  Think of it this way: Working off the base budget means going from $650 million more for schools down to zero dollars more for schools and no targeted money for rural schools.  Lawmakers have to understand what it means to Wisconsin school districts to receive a significant increase in resources from the state for the first time in several budget cycles.

Tips for Testifying at Joint Finance Committee Public Hearings

WASB Day at the Capitol Issue Papers: