Monthly Archives: June 2019

Senate passes budget bill; heads to Gov. Evers

The state Senate concurred in the state budget bill today (June 26) as passed by the state Assembly. This clears the bill to head to Governor Tony Evers, who has the option to sign the bill as is, veto the bill in whole or in part, or allow it to become law without his signature by taking no action within the six-day review period (Sundays excepted) specified in the State Constitution.

The bill was approved 17-16 with GOP Sens. Steve Nass (Whitewater) and Dave Craig (Vernon) joined by all Senate Democrats in voting No. Continue reading Senate passes budget bill; heads to Gov. Evers

Assembly passes budget bill; Senate next

The state Assembly passed the budget bill on a 60-39 vote late in the evening of June 25 after 10 hours of floor debate.  GOP Reps. Brandtjen (Menomonee Falls), Gundrum (Slinger) & Ramthun (Campbellsport) joined all Assembly Democrats in voting No on the bill.

The Assembly added a last minute amendment that was designed to garner support from certain GOP Senators after two have already announced they intend to vote No. The amendment also modified language in the  bill to make it more difficult for the governor to use his powerful partial veto pen to alter the modified provisions.  The bill now heads to the state Senate and is scheduled to be taken up today (June 26) at 10am along with several other bills. Watch the debate LIVE on WisconsinEye. Continue reading Assembly passes budget bill; Senate next

Special update on E-Rate and broadband: FCC considers cap on Universal Service Fund

As we noted in an earlier post, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing an overall cap on Universal Service Fund (USF) revenue and a sub-cap on USF allocations to the E-Rate and Rural Health Care programs. We are concerned these actions could potentially damage these important programs, and especially E-Rate.

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on its proposal, which could force the four programs funded under USF, including E-Rate, to battle each other for funds. The FCC is calling for comments by a July 15 deadline with reply comments due thirty days later. This is an especially tough deadline for schools to meet, as most are out for the summer and, chances are, few teachers and administrators are focused on federal policy making. Continue reading Special update on E-Rate and broadband: FCC considers cap on Universal Service Fund

WI Supreme Court rules state superintendent must seek governor’s approval in rule-making

Three years after ruling otherwise, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has reversed course and ruled that the state superintendent and the Department of Public Instruction must submit proposed administrative rules to the governor for approval as is required of all other state agencies.

Today’s 4-2 ruling overturned a 2016 decision that the state superintendent was exempt from the requirements.  In this decision, the majority ruled that while the constitution provides the state superintendent the authority to supervise public education, the Legislature grants the authority to promulgate rules and, thus, the Legislature can set limits on that authority. Continue reading WI Supreme Court rules state superintendent must seek governor’s approval in rule-making

Looking for budget information? Here’s where to find it.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) has compiled and posted its summary documents comparing the Governor’s proposed budget with the budget version adopted by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC).  You can find the LFB’s comparative summary documents here, organized either separately by state agency or covering the full budget.

You can also find links to LFB documents — the full (all agencies) summary and the DPI only summary–on the WASB’s State Budget webpage, along with an updated version of the WASB Budget Chart reflecting the changes made by the JFC.

State budget debate this week; non-fiscal policy update

The state Assembly will act first on the state budget (Assembly Bill 56), beginning at noon on Tuesday, June 25 with the state Senate following the next day on Wednesday, June 26 at 10:00 am.   Major changes to the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) budget are not expected, but some last minute changes have been discussed amid two GOP Senators announcing they did not support the JFC package. You can follow the budget debates LIVE on WisconsinEye. Stay tuned…

One side benefit of having different parties controlling the governorship and legislature is a dramatic reduction in the amount of non-fiscal policy jammed into the budget bill.  Non-fiscal item items often do not receive the attention and deliberation that a typical stand-alone piece of legislation would (some recent examples include changes to open records laws and voucher expansion). Continue reading State budget debate this week; non-fiscal policy update

Speaker: no major changes planned for budget despite Senate defections

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) says Assembly Republicans are not planning to make any major changes to the state budget when the Assembly takes up the bill next Tuesday, June 25.

According to Wispolitics.com, the Speaker mentioned only looking at ways to reduce the budget’s impact on property taxes and tweaking part of the transportation budget: Continue reading Speaker: no major changes planned for budget despite Senate defections