Assembly Republicans and Governor Walker have struck a deal on a proposal to provide taxpayers with a one-time tax credit of $100 per child and a one-time sales tax holiday for purchases of $100 or less. This agreement replaces an earlier plan proposed by the governor to create an ongoing, annual child tax credit.
While Republicans who firmly control the state Assembly are on board, the future of the proposal in the GOP-controlled state Senate, however, is uncertain.
According to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), it’s unclear whether Senate Republicans will support it. Fitzgerald said he will discuss the proposal with his members Tuesday.
Gov. Scott Walker today announced he’s reached a compromise with key lawmakers to provide additional financial relief to both low-revenue districts and small, rural districts next year. Attempts to reach such a compromise during the 2017-19 state budget debate did not bear fruit, but today’s announcement signals new life for this effort.
The legislation is authored by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette, pictured at right) and would increase the low-revenue ceiling from $9,100 to $9,400 per pupil beginning in the next (2018-19) school year. The low-revenue ceiling would then increase by $100 per pupil each year until it reaches $9,800 per pupil in 2022-23.
The low-revenue ceiling is a feature in state law that helps the lowest-spending school districts by allowing them to collect more in property taxes without having to go to referendum. Assembly Republicans successfully pushed to add provisions to increase the low-revenue ceiling to the state budget bill. However, Gov. Walker vetoed the measure due to concerns over the impact it could have on property tax bills. Continue reading Governor Walker Announces Support For Increasing Low Revenue Ceiling and Sparsity Aid→
A new analysis by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau and provided to the WASB by Capitol sources shows the impact on school districts statewide of shifting from Governor Walker’s proposed increases in sparsity aid to an increase in the low revenue ceiling which was first proposed by the state Assembly. The impact amounts to shifting proposed resources from districts that would qualify for sparsity aid under the governor’s proposal to giving historically low spending districts the opportunity to catch up with higher revenue districts by raising revenue locally.
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says negotiations with the state Assembly on the state budget and Foxconn incentives legislation have stalled. Fitzgerald spoke to Capitol reporters and said the Assembly is moving forward on the Foxconn bill without input from Senators and he is not sure he has the votes to pass it in his house. He also restated the Senate’s priority of completing the state budget first and then working on the Foxconn incentives. We previously posted on reports that the budget committee would not be able to meet until the week of August 21 at the earliest.
With passage of the 2017-19 state budget now more than a month overdue, the Republican leaders of the state Senate and Assembly have found another thing on which they don’t agree: how to move forward with Governor Scott Walker’s proposed special session legislation to provide tax and other incentives to close the deal to bring Taiwan-based tech giant Foxconn to Wisconsin.
Typically, the state Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee (JFC), comprised of eight senators and eight representatives, begins its review of the governor’s budget in February and completes its work in late May or early June. Then comes floor debate in the two houses and the completed budget is sent to the governor for his review and signature (or vetoes). If all goes well, this process is completed by July 1.
Here we compare the Senate Republican plan released on July 12 and the Assembly Republican plan released on June 6 on some of the major K-12 provisions in the state budget bill and the WASB position on those provisions:
Per-Pupil Categorical Aid
Senate/Governor: Increase per-pupil aid $200 in 2017-18 and $204 in 2018-19.
Assembly: Increase per-pupil aid $150 in 2017-18 and $200 in 2018-19.