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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School Districts Have Much to Consider When Accepting Gifts

By Dee Pettack | November 15, 2022

From the Legal Side . . .

In its most recent Legal Update, the Renning, Lewis & Lacy Law Firm focuses on the legal requirements for school districts to accept and use gifts made by a third party.

The SAA regularly receives these legal updates and we believe this is valuable information for SAA members.  We are distributing this update to SAA members with the permission of Renning, Lewis & Lacy.  The information in this update is no substitute for consulting with your district legal counsel, and we encourage you to do so.

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Republican Leadership Elections

By Dee Pettack | November 11, 2022

From The Wheeler Report . . .

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS

ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS

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Reach Out to Your Legislators

By Dee Pettack | November 10, 2022

With the November election in the rearview mirror, now is the time to pick up the phone and congratulate your legislator(s) on their election victory.  Many of you have new legislators but, even if you don’t, now is a good time to reconnect and renew your relationships.

It is crystal clear to me that SAA members must enhance their influence with their legislators to realize better policy outcomes for children in the 2023-25 State Budget.

And, influence is all about relationships.  So, once you have congratulated your legislators on their election victory, invite them to visit your schools.  Use the visit as an opportunity to showcase the great things you are doing for students in your district.  It is critically important for legislators to see what learning looks like today.  In the process you will show your legislator(s) that you are an important source of information for them on K-12 education issues.

A couple more things to keep in mind.  It’s a good idea to coordinate your relationship-building efforts with your district’s administrative team behind the leadership of the superintendent.  Finally, remember the SAA’s success on state legislative issues is, in large part, dependent on your ability to influence your legislators at the local level.

Please contact the SAA for more suggestions on building relationships with your legislators.  Thanks for listening and, most importantly, thank you for all you do on behalf of the kids you serve.

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