The Wisconsin Legislature wrapped up its fall floor period last week. Lawmakers won’t return to the floor again until January. The fate of any number of bills may depend on how many proposals the houses want to tackle.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) told WisPolitics.com late last week that he expects the Assembly to meet for two weeks in January and two weeks in February as well.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said he expects the Senate to be in one day each in January, February and March. Continue reading Legislature Recesses Until January; Hopes Dim for Action on Sparsity Aid, Relief for Low-Revenue Districts
State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) has been appointed to be the new Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection (DATCP) by Gov. Scott Walker. This will create an open state Senate seat in her Northwestern Wisconsin district that will require a special election, possibly in January.
Gov. Scott Walker today appointed GOP state Sen. Sheila Harsdorf the first female DATCP secretary, calling the longtime lawmaker “an excellent fit to lead the agency.” Continue reading Senator Sheila Harsdorf Appointed New DATCP Secretary
As expected, Governor Scott Walker over the weekend formally announced his intention to run for a third term. Also, as expected, it seems likely that investing in public schools will be a major pillar in his re-election platform.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
He did not mention (the Foxconn) project in Sunday’s speech and instead focused on his policies that froze tuition at University of Wisconsin campuses, cut taxes and invested more money in public schools. He said he would also combat the spread of opioids and other drugs that have claimed lives across the state. Continue reading Gov. Walker Formally Announces Re-Election Bid
Ten school referenda will be on the ballot Tuesday in various school districts across the state. It will mark the last time school boards will be able to place ballot questions before voters on a date that doesn’t coincide with a regularly scheduled election under new restrictions enacted as part of the 2017-19 state budget.
Effective January 1, 2018, school district referenda to exceed revenue limits and to issue bonds will be limited to being held only on regularly-scheduled election days (i.e., the February spring primary or April spring general election, or the August (fall) partisan primary or November general election). Districts will be further restricted to calling referenda on just two dates per calendar year.
Continue reading Voters to Decide Ten School Referenda on Tuesday
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on some high profile bills and their chances for becoming law in the remainder of the 2017-18 legislative session based on conversations with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau, pictured). Included in the story was the “Right to Carry” bill that we have posted on here before and has implications for school districts.
From the MJS: Continue reading Legislative Leaders Comment on “Right to Carry” Bill With Implications for Schools
Fears that the state might not be able to comfortably afford the sizable increase in state school aids approved in the 2017-19 state budget may be eased by news that Wisconsin closed its fiscal year on June 30 with a larger than expected ending balance.
The state ended Fiscal Year 2017 with a $579 million surplus in its main account, the second largest closing balance since 2000. That figure was up $112 million from the previous projection of $467 million as revenues were up and spending was down from earlier forecasts.
Continue reading State Finishes Fiscal Year With Better Than Expected Ending Balance
Governor Scott Walker is visiting schools in Wausaukee, Cadott, and Belmont today to announce his support for new legislation to increase Sparsity Aid for rural schools, an idea he championed earlier this year.
Currently, the Sparsity Aid Program aims to offset the challenges faced by the smallest, most rural school districts in the state through providing $300 in per-pupil funding for districts with enrollments of 745 or less and a density of less than 10 pupils per square mile.
Continue reading New Plan to Boost Sparsity Aid Gets Gov. Walker’s Backing