Governor Evers 2023 State of the State Address

By Dee Pettack | January 25, 2023

On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, Governor Evers gave the 2023 State of the State Address.  Below is a summary from The Wheeler Report:

GOVERNOR EVERS GIVES 2023 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

His speech he highlighted education, environment, childcare, business development and workforce issues, and tax provisions. 

Excerpts of the speech are listed below.   

Education:

 Mental Health:

Taxes:

 Childcare:

The governor’s address is available to watch here.  The full text is available here.

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Evers Announces Budget Listening Sessions

By Dee Pettack | December 9, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …

Gov. Tony Evers this morning announced three budget listening sessions before year’s end with more planned into 2023.The first in-person event will be Tuesday in Kenosha as part of what Evers is calling the “Doing the Right Thing” listening session tour. That reflects one of the main themes of Evers’ successful reelection bid.That will be followed by a virtual listening session Wednesday with an in-person event Dec. 20 in Green Bay.Evers’ office said more locations and dates will be announced in the new year.See the release here.

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Assembly Joint Finance Committee Members Announced

By Dee Pettack | December 5, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has elevated Rep. Terry Katsma, R-Oostburg, to vice-chair of the Joint Finance Committee.He’s also added Rep. Alex Dallman, R-Green Lake, to fill the open Assembly GOP spot on the committee.Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, served as the Assembly vice-chair this session. But she opted against seeking reelection to run for secretary of state.Vos previously announced Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, would return as co-chair.The rest of the Assembly Finance team remains the same as this past session: Tony Kurtz, R-Wonewoc; Jessie Rodriguez, R-Oak Creek; and Shannon Zimmerman, R-River Fall.See Vos’ release here.

See Dallman’s here.

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Budget Surplus Update

By Dee Pettack | November 23, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …

WI GOP leaders to push for ‘long term’ tax cuts

[Vos and LeMahieu] at a WisPolitics.com event … [pitched] “transformational tax changes in Wisconsin,” LeMahieu said. “We definitely need to drive down our top rates.” … something Evers reiterated last week he opposes. … Vos said he wanted to cut taxes “as much as we possibly can” and “it needs to be long term and permanent.” That includes eliminating [personal] property tax … [which] Evers last session vetoed … Vos and LeMahieu said they were open to increasing funding for K-12 public schools, if it’s paired with also expanding school choice programs. [which Evers doubts is possible. He opposes expanding choice]. … said they hoped to work better with Evers in his second term. … LeMahieu said working together … “can get some things done.” … Evers reached out to both lawmakers recently, and Vos said he spoke with the governor for about five minutes. “That was five minutes more than the past two years,” Vos said. … Vos said he hoped to reach some kind of agreement [on abortion ban exemptions] before the April 4 Wisconsin Supreme Court election so that race doesn’t become all about abortion [which favored Dems in Nov. election].

* Minority Leader Agard said a flat tax “would benefit the wealthy and well-connected” and Democrats will oppose it.* LeMahieu, after the event: “We’re going to do income tax cuts across the board to make sure everybody receives tax cuts in Wisconsin.” By Bauer, AP

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Legislative Council Study on Shared School District Services Committee Notice/Update

By Dee Pettack | November 23, 2022

The Joint  Legislative Council Study Committee on Shared School District Services will meet November 30, 2022 at 10:00 am.  The agenda can be found here.

The following proposals will be discussed:

·       LRB-0558/P2, relating to reducing the number of members on the school board of a consolidated school district.

·       LRB-0559/P3, relating to to school and school district accountability report for a consolidated school district.

·    LRB-0560/P2, relating to grants for feasibility studies of school district consolidation or whole grade sharing and making an appropriation.

·        LRB-0561/P2, relating to state aid for school district consolidation.

·     LRB-0569/P2, relating to a shared services aid program for school districts, granting rule-making authority, and making an appropriation.

·       LRB-0570/P2, relating to reimbursements to school districts and cooperative educational service agencies for the cost of writing federal and state grant applications and making an appropriation.

·        LRB-0571/P2, relating to aid to school districts that share services for costs associated with student information systems.

·        LRB-0572/P2, relating to aid for transporting pupils between school districts that share services.

·        LRB-0590/P2, relating to calculating a consolidated school district’s revenue limit.

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Senator Darling Resignation

By Dee Pettack | November 23, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …GOP state Sen. Alberta Darling, who led the powerful Joint Finance Committee for a record-tying six terms, announced today she will retire Dec. 1 after 32 years in the Legislature.Her departure will open up a vacancy in her strongly GOP seat representing the Milwaukee suburbs.Darling, 78, didn’t cite a reason in her news release for her decision to retire in the middle of her eighth term in the Senate. She was first elected to the Assembly in a May 1990 special election and then won the Senate seat in 1992.In her resignation letter to Senate President Chris Kapenga, Darling wrote, “Serving requires many sacrifices and I look forward to giving family and friends my full attention.”Darling, R-River Hills, first co-chaired JFC in the 2003 session. She then returned to the co-chair’s spot in the 2011 session and held the gavel for five straight sessions. That was interrupted briefly by Dems winning control of the state Senate following the 2012 recall elections.“As the longest-serving woman to co-chair the Joint Committee on Finance, I made sure each and every dollar was spent prudently knowing this money comes from the hardworking people of our state,” said Darling, the first woman to serve as co-chair from the state Senate in the committee’s history.Darling was the target of a 2011 recall over former Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10, beating back the challenge by nearly 7 points. Dems also targeted her in the 2020 elections, but she won with more than 54 percent of the vote even as Donald Trump only received 167 more votes in the district than Joe Biden. cRepublicans made the seat more Republican under the maps they drew and the state Supreme Court put in place this spring. According to Marquette University researcher John Johnson, it’s now a more than 56 percent GOP seat, based on top-of-the-ticket results in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and the 2018 guv contest. That’s about 2.5 points more Republican than it had been.Caucuses often turn to incumbent state reps for special elections in the Senate. Republicans Janel Brandtjen, of Menomonee Falls, and Dan Knodl, of Germantown, this fall both won reelection to their Assembly seats that are part of the Senate district, as did Dem Deb Andraca, of Whitefish Bay.Republicans were poised to begin the new legislative session with a veto-proof majority of 22-11, but will now be at 21-11 come January.See the release here.

See the resignation letter here.

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Projected Budget Surplus grows to $6.6 Billion

By Dee Pettack | November 21, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …The Evers administration now expects a nearly $6.6 billion budget surplus to end the fiscal year June 30, well above previous expectations that it would come in north of $5 billion.Providing the first look at the 2023-25 budget, the Department of Administration today said it expects an additional $1.5 billion in revenue growth over the two-year period.Meanwhile, state agencies have requested an increase of $3.6 billion in new general purpose revenue over the 2023-25 biennium.Between the projected surplus and the expected revenue growth, the state could fund every single agency request and still have $4.4 billion left over in the general fund.The report also noted the state has more than $1.7 billion in its rainy day fund.See the report here.

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Assembly Dems Hold Leadership Elections Today

By Dee Pettack | November 17, 2022

From WisPolitics.com …Assembly Dems meet today to elect their slate of leaders for the 2023-24 session.All the incumbents are unopposed in seeking new terms:

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Senate Minority Leadership Elections

By Dee Pettack | November 16, 2022

From The Wheeler Report . . .

Senate Democrats held leadership elections yesterday.

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General School Aids Announced

By Dee Pettack | November 16, 2022

From The Wheeler Report . . .

According to a new Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo, “The general school aids appropriation funds equalization, integration (Chapter 220), and special adjustment aids. In 2022-23, $5,201.6 million from the general fund is provided in the general school aids appropriation. Of the total amount of funding provided, 394 of the state’s 421 school districts are eligible for $5,155.4 million in equalization aid, 20 districts are eligible for $37.2 million in integration aid, and 48 districts are eligible for $9.0 million in special adjustment aid.”

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