Last night (Oct. 19), the U.S. Senate approved a federal fiscal year 2018 budget resolution, a key procedural step in setting the stage for the Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Republicans, to pass a federal income tax reform bill along party lines.
The budget resolution passed by a 51-49 vote, with all Republicans except Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voting in favor and all Democrats opposing.
The U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently in recess until Oct. 23, has already passed a budget resolution of its own. The Senate’s action, passed as an amendment to the earlier House-passed budge resolution (H.Con. Res. 71), continues momentum toward debate and passage of tax reform.
The final measure will provide instructions for fiscal year 2018 appropriations for education programs for education programs, as well as for tax reform and health care reform. Moreover, the budget resolution will determine the scope of most legislative priorities for the current session of Congress.
Updated: The state Senate voted 19-14 to pass the state budget and send it to Gov. Walker after he agreed to certain vetoes to gain the support of Senate GOP holdouts Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).
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.
A recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article widely reported in Gannett newspapers across the state provided details on how a budget plan proposed by Senate Republicans would increase funding for the state’s three main private school voucher programs by nearly $60 million over the next two years, according to an analysis by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB).
The state Senate’s K-12 funding package unveiled on July 18 (see previous post) contains an especially troubling referendum-related provision that has not been previously considered by the Legislature. The July 18 package was the first time it was made public.