August 25, 2017


JFC Eliminates a State Tax

The Joint Finance Committee returned to Executive Session on the state budget this week, taking up Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Natural Resources, State Public Defender, Revenue, and Corrections.

You can watch the whole hearing here on Wisconsin Eye.

Thursday Highlights:

Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection Omnibus Motion

  • Maintain Wisconsinís Farm-to-School program connecting schools to local farmers to procure locally produced food.

  • Delete the June 30, 2016 sunset of the Farmland Preservation Planning Grants program and provide $210,000 annually. Adopt Governorís recommendation to revamp Agricultural Chemicals program licenses and surcharges with a modification to charge a flat fee mid $500 per pesticide product (an increase of $20 compared to the Governorís bill). Recommendations were the result of a task force that examined agricultural chemicals licenses and surcharges with the intent of reducing the fee burden and fund balance that has accumulated over time.

  • Increase funding for livestock registration to help DATCP better respond to disease outbreaks on farms.

Department of Natural Resources - Reorganization

  • Approved Governorís proposal to reorganize DNR to help the department focus on priority functions. The changes will group similar functions within divisions to improve management of workload and will not change overall funding or positions.

Department of Natural Resources - Environmental Quality

  • Increased funding for county conservation staffing and soil and water resource management. This helps local governments manage land and water use and protections more effectively.

  • Fully fund a Central Sands Hydrology study as required in 2017 Act 10 (High-Capacity Wells bill).

  • Funding for a study of the Little Plover River Grant to increase the flow of the river.

  • Direct DNR to study the introduction of nutrients into streams and watersheds in Door, Kewaunee, and Ozaukee Counties.

  • Provide $14.6M in bonding to address flooding issues in the Arcadia area which have negatively affected major employers in the area.

  • Provide $500,000 in one-time funds to aquatic invasive education and control grants.

Department of Natural Resources - Forestry Mill Tax Repeal

  • Committee took a historic vote to repeal an entire tax: the stateís property tax.

  • Provided forestry account funding from general fund so there will be no reduction in services and activities funded by the forestry mill tax.

  • Provided additional funds for forest fire prevention.

  • Placed $5M in a forestry emergency account for wildfire, disease, and natural disaster costs.

  • Ordered an audit of the forestry account to further ensure the most efficient and effective uses of the funds.

Public Defender

  • Converted State Public Defender to a block grant appropriation, creating the opportunity for a more innovative, streamlined approach to agency management. The Committee also voted to provide over $3 million in pay progression for State Public Defenders, helping ensure Wisconsinites receive their Constitutional right to legal representation.

JFC Foxconn Public Hearing


On Tuesday, the Joint Finance Committee headed to Gateway Technical College in Sturtevant for a public hearing on the proposed Foxconn legislation.


Check out the hearing in full by clicking on the video.


Community Events


Event: Root Beer Bash - Police Department Charity Run/Walk

Date and Time: August 26th at 9:30 AM

Location: Richard E. Maslowski Community Park

Description: Check out the website for more details here.


       Event: Oktoberfest

       Date and Time: September 23 from Noon - 11:00 PM, September 24 from Noon - 7:00 PM

       Location: Dheinsville Historic Park - Germantown

Description: More information available on the Germantown Historical Society website.


Event: Casting a Spell on Literacy - Adult Spelling Bee Fundraiser

Date and Time: September 9th from 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Location: Reuter Pavilion - Mequon Rotary Park 4100 Highland Road

Description: Casting a Spell on Literacy is an adult spelling bee fundraiser. All proceeds go to support ALC educational programming and services. For more info checkout their website.


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