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.
WASB: has supported the $200/$204 per pupil increase since it was first proposed by the Governor. Continue reading Comparing Senate, Assembly GOP K-12 Budget Plans
U.S. Senate Republicans on Thursday (July 13) released a revised version of their bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The changes in the revised version are aimed at securing the votes of reluctant GOP senators in order to win the bill’s passage.
The new Senate bill, like earlier versions, would convert Medicaid from an open-ended entitlement to a system of fixed (capped) payments to states. The new bill makes no change to the indexing that would be used to adjust future federal Medicaid outlays, which under the Senate version would be pegged to the consumer price index (CPI-U) rather than measures tied to medical care costs, which historically have risen faster than the CPI.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has projected federal outlays for Medicaid under the Senate bill would decline by 26 percent by 2026 in comparison with projections under current law. (See previous post.)
Continue reading US Senate Set to Try Again on Health Care Reform
The U.S. House of Representatives voted today (Thursday May 4) to approve a bill to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act (a/k/a “Obamacare”) with new legislation known as the American Health Care Act (ACHA). The measure was passed on a 217-213 vote.
Among other things, the ACHA would make profound changes to the state-federal partnership program known as Medicaid or Medical Assistance, including reducing by $880 billion the amount of federal Medicaid dollars to states. These changes would significantly impact the ability of students with disabilities and students in poverty to receive critically necessary health services in public schools. The changes would require schools to compete for limited Medicaid funding, which would likely result in arbitrary caps on the amount of Medicaid reimbursements made to public schools.
Continue reading U.S. House Passes Obamacare Repeal Bill, Deep Cuts to Medicaid Will Impact Special Education
Last week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) co-chairs removed 83 provisions identified as “non-fiscal” policy items from the governor’s budget bill. (See previous post).
However, a number of policy items with a significant impact on school boards and school districts remain in the bill. Here we highlight a few of them: Continue reading Several Significant K-12 Policy Items Remain in Budget Bill
In a hopeful sign, Gov. Scott Walker says he’s open to modifying his proposed requirement that districts be “Act 10 compliant” in order to receive additional per-pupil aid. That measure would require each school district to certify that its employees “will be required to pay at least 12 percent of all costs and payments associated with employee health care coverage plans in that year” to receive the increases.
The governor (pictured above with WASB president Terry McCloskey, Three Lakes) made those comments flanked by representatives of the WASB and the Southeast Wisconsin Schools Alliance as well as other school leaders and students at a press conference Monday at Waukesha South High School (see previous post). Continue reading Gov. Walker Open to Changing Proposed Act 10 Compliance Language in Budget
Ahead of today’s agency briefing on the DPI budget, the WASB sent a memo to Joint Finance Committee (JFC) members outlining our concerns about a provision in the governor’s proposed budget that requires each school district to certify that it is using the “tools” provided under Act 10 in order to receive the proposed increases of $200 and $204 in per pupil categorical aid under the budget bill.
Specifically, this provision requires each school district to certify to the DPI that “the employees of the district will be required to pay at least 12 percent of all costs and payments associated with employee health care coverage plans in that year” in order to receive the increased per pupil aid. Continue reading WASB Asks JFC to Remove Requirement to Certify “Act 10 Compliance” from Budget
Earlier this week, the board that oversees state worker health benefits—the Department of Employee Trust Funds’ Group Insurance Board (GIB)—postponed making a decision on whether and how to restructure the state group health insurance program. It will resume its discussion of options at its next meeting in January. Continue reading Board Overseeing State Employee Health Benefits Delays Decision on Self-Insurance