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LFB: State Would Miss $2.2 Billion in K-12 Aid if Full Budget Vetoed

By John Forester | June 29, 2021

From WisPolitics.com …

Wisconsin wouldn’t qualify for some $2.2 billion in federal K-12 education aid if Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the GOP-authored budget in full and Capitol leaders failed to pass a new one, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau says.

The LFB memo underscores the risk some insiders have raised for Evers if he chose to veto the budget now before the state Legislature. Republicans have already signaled they wouldn’t come back to pass a new budget. Some also have said they could point to the veto and blame Evers for the state failing to qualify for the money under the last two COVID-19 stimulus packages.

Those packages — one signed by President Biden this spring, one by former President Trump in December — include a requirement that states maintain their current spending commitments to K-12 and higher education to qualify for the money.

The Cares Act, which Trump signed, requires that maintenance of effort extend into the 2021-22 fiscal year. Under the American Rescue Plan Act, which Biden signed, the commitment must be met in both 2021-22 and 2022-23.

If the budget is vetoed and no new one is approved, the state would continue with the appropriation levels in place for the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ends tomorrow.

In a memo requested by Sen. Jon Erpenbach, LFB estimated the state wouldn’t meet the maintenance of effort requirements under either package if that happened.

See the memo here.

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