All posts by drossmiller

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.

Some suggestions for the governor and legislative leaders to improve the K-12 budget

Governor Evers’ recent comments to the media indicating that he plans to reach out to Republican legislative leaders before the Assembly and Senate meet to take up the state budget bill got us thinking.

We’d like to take this opportunity to suggest some things we would like to see the governor and legislative leaders discuss seriously in any negotiations they might undertake.  These are modest asks. The spending increase provided by the JFC budget for K-12 education in 2019-21 is over $130 million smaller than the increase provided by the 2017-19 state budget.  We respectfully suggest policy makers revisit a couple of issues that if adopted could make this a better budget for schools. Continue reading Some suggestions for the governor and legislative leaders to improve the K-12 budget

Gov. Evers takes “wait and see” approach to state budget, possible vetoes

The Capital Times has reported that Gov. Tony Evers will make no decisions on budget vetoes (full or partial) until both houses of the legislature pass the budget bill.

Other news of note from the story is that the governor has not met with legislative leaders to negotiate any changes to the budget that was approved by the Joint Finance Committee but plans to do so before the houses convene on the budget next week.  The Assembly plans to take up the bill a week from today (on June 25) with the Senate to follow a day or two later.

Capital Times: Evers says no decision on partial, full vetoes until budget passes Assembly, Senate

Recent state and federal moves on e-rate funds raise caution flags

Among other state budget actions, the Joint Finance Committee voted along party-lines last week to transfer $22 million in federal e-rate funds (which are meant to support telecommunications services in schools and libraries–the “e” in e-rate stands for “education”) in each year of the budget to the Broadband Expansion Grant Program. The amount transferred is $19.8 million more than what the Governor’s budget had proposed.

While this may be viewed by some as good news for rural areas that currently lack adequate broadband (high-speed internet) connections, it could spell concerns for schools and libraries in the future. Continue reading Recent state and federal moves on e-rate funds raise caution flags

Assembly education committee schedules meeting on June 13

The Assembly Committee on Education, chaired by Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, June 13 on a pair of bills that stem from the work of the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding.   Both bills are authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) and sponsored by Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).

UPDATE: Assembly Bill 224 was removed from the hearing agenda. Only Assembly Bill 223 was heard.

The hearing will be held in Room 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol, beginning at 11:01 a.m on the following bills: Continue reading Assembly education committee schedules meeting on June 13

JFC-approved transportation budget dips further into state’s general fund

Last night, the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC) passed a transportation budget plan to boost state transportation spending by $483.7 million over the next two fiscal years.

The JFC-approved plan relies in part on increases to title and registration fees and a $90 million transfer from the state’s general fund.  That transfer is a departure from historical practices and deserves attention. Continue reading JFC-approved transportation budget dips further into state’s general fund

Updated WASB Budget Chart posted

The WASB Budget Chart has been updated to detail the actions taken to date by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC)  on K-12 education-related provisions in the  proposed  2019-21 state budget. You can find the chart here.

For each budget item, the chart describes the proposal at each stage in the process and the dollar amounts attached to it.  In separate columns, the chart shows the DPI budget request, if any, the governor’s proposal, if any, and the JFC action on each item. Continue reading Updated WASB Budget Chart posted