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
Lost, perhaps, amidst all the focus on candidates in statewide races in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll released last week were results that suggest voters are more open to investing more for schools than they are for roads. Taxes and spending for schools and roads have been key issues in the race for governor.
On the broad question of state taxes and state services, 51 percent of registered voters surveyed said they would rather pay higher taxes and have state government provide more services, while 42 percent said they prefer lower taxes and fewer services from the state.
Continue reading Are schools and roads on a collision course when it comes to funding?
State Superintendent Tony Evers delivered his annual State of Education address Sept. 21 in the State Capitol in Madison.
Quoting extensively from U.S. President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt in a speech with more political overtones than usual, Evers suggested the comments in a famous address by our nation’s 26th President provide advice for today’s Wisconsinites in the areas of improving school finance, fostering healthy students and connecting communities. Continue reading Evers Sharpens Rhetoric in Annual State of Education Address
Governor Scott Walker signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last Thursday (July 27) with Foxconn founder and chairman, Terry Gou, that could bring a potential $10 billion investment by the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services provider to Wisconsin. Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. , is famous for assembling iPhones, flat panel screens, and other high tech devices. It plans to build a plant in Southeast Wisconsin that would initially employ 3,000 workers and could eventually employ up to 13,000 workers. Continue reading Governor Inks Deal with Foxconn, Calls Special Session on Incentive Package
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.
This year, however, the JFC not only hasn’t completed its review, it hasn’t met publicly since June 15, and it isn’t clear when the committee might meet again to wrap-up its work on the state’s two-year taxing and spending blueprint. Continue reading State Budget Remains Stalled—What’s Holding It Up?
At a Capitol press conference, Senate Republicans today released key details behind their budget proposal and a set of memos from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau summarizing the plan.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said that the Senate GOP proposal includes all actions taken by the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) through June 15, plus what his caucus worked on as well as the agreements the Senate has reached with the Assembly on K-12 funding. Fitzgerald sent a letter to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos asking for the Assembly GOP’s response to the Senate proposal in the hope that the JFC can meet and complete all outstanding issues in one session.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Latest state budget plan increases money for schools, but local taxpayers share costs
Among the key K-12 provisions affecting public schools are the following: Continue reading State Senate Republicans Unveil Budget Plan
The state budget impasse continues as Senate and Assembly GOP leaders continue to disagree on the amount of borrowing for road projects. Gov. Walker issued a letter to GOP legislative leaders proposing a compromise deal based on procuring additional Federal dollars to help fund highway projects. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, on the K-12 front it appears the sides are a lot closer to reaching a deal:
“An agreement among lawmakers could be near on another budget sticking point — funding for K-12 schools, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Thursday. Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said it’s possible the Legislature’s budget committee could reconvene soon, for the first time in nearly a month, to take up school funding.” Continue reading Budget Impasse Continues but K-12 Agreement May Be Close