Speak Up on State Budget
The Wisconsin League’s Legislative Committee members have continued to follow the Joint Finance Committee as it announces its recommendations on the State Biennial Budget. The Committee passed its version of the Budget on Thursday, which will now go to the State Assembly and Senate for consideration by all legislators. It is substantially different from the Governor’s proposed budget.
Here are a few things we are urging lawmakers to do:
Restore the $25 million in bonding proposed by the Governor to clean up contaminated sediment in five areas of concern in the Great Lakes Basin.
Restore $115 million for secured residential care centers for children and teenagers in the state's juvenile justice system.
Increase permit fees for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) to fund five new positions at the DNR to oversee CAFO permits and regulation, as proposed in the Executive Budget.
Increase funding for our public schools. Although Joint Finance approved the Governor’s request for $200 per pupil in categorical aid for 2019 and $204 for 2020, our schools will still be receiving less state funding than they did in 2011.
Protect children by restoring the $40 million in bonding proposed by the Governor for the replacement of up to half of the cost to replace lead service lines through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program.
Include $63 million in the 2019-20 public education budget for mental health services and $611 million for special education.
Adopt Medicaid Expansion to fund the above items and more. Medicaid Expansion would cover an additional 82,000 adults under BadgerCare while providing matching funds for many other programs that serve all Wisconsin residents. It’s time for legislative leaders to bring some of our federal tax dollars back to Wisconsin!
Increase revenue for our Transportation budget and fix our roads. Lawmakers can do that by reinstating the Governor’s proposal for the first gas tax increase since 2006. All who use Wisconsin roads should contribute to the maintenance -- even if they are not residents of our state!
Which of these items matter most to you, and why? Choose one or two and contact your State Senator and Assembly Representative. Let them know why you care and what you want them to do to pass a responsible budget for Wisconsin.
You can have an even greater impact if you write a letter to the editor or share your thoughts with friends and neighbors. Motivate them to take action, too. But, remember. . . do NOT speak for the League without prior authorization.