The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee typically holds several public hearings on the Governor’s proposed budget. These hearings are of two types: (1) informational agency briefings; and (2) public hearings.
According to The Wheeler Report, a letter sent to state agencies this week suggested a tentative schedule for two days of agency briefings to the JFC on the state budget as follows:
- Wednesday, April 3 – Agency briefings
- Thursday, April 4 – Agency briefings
Agency briefings are hearings at which representatives of state agencies, typically the head of the agency, present testimony to the JFC on the Governor’s budget bill and the effect that the proposed budget would have on the agency and its programs. Typically, agency briefings take place at the Capitol.
In addition, the letter to agencies put forward a tentative schedule of JFC public hearings on the state budget at the following four locations around the state:
- Friday, April 5 – Public Hearing – Janesville Area
- Thursday, April 11 – Public Hearing – Milwaukee Area
- Monday, April 15 – Public Hearing – River Falls/Hudson Area
- Wednesday, April 24 – Public Hearing – Green Bay Area
Note: This is not the official list or notice of public hearings, but a tentative list sent to agencies.
Public hearings are hearings at which members of the general public are heard regarding any area of the proposed state budget of concern to them. Agency representatives and lobbyists are asked not to testify at these hearings. Typically, these public hearings take place in April at various locations around the state.
Advocacy Tip: These public hearings are an excellent opportunity for school leaders to communicate their priorities and viewpoints on the proposed state budget to members of the JFC. In addition, local legislators often attend the hearings held in their area to listen to the testimony of area residents.
In addition, many individual legislators are holding budget “listening sessions” or “office hours” at various public locations in their districts. They use these “listening sessions” to gather input on the proposed budget from their constituents. These “listening sessions” are great opportunities for school leaders to communicate their priorities and viewpoints on the proposed state budget. Check your local newspapers or your legislators’ e-newsletter or website to find the dates, times and locations. We will try to share information about as many of these listening sessions as we can.