May 19th, 2017

Joint Finance Committee Update

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has continued to hold executive sessions regarding the 2017-19 biennial budget. During these sessions, members of the committee debate and vote on specific provisions from Governor Walker's budget proposal. The goal of these sessions is to improve upon what the Governor has proposed while taking into consideration public input.

The executive sessions will continue throughout the month of May and into June. Once we have concluded executive sessions, we will submit a complete budget to both the Senate and the Assembly for approval. If both houses approve the budget, it will go to Governor Walker's desk for final approval.

Here is an update with some of the highlights from these meetings this last week:

Technical Colleges
-The committee increased need-based scholarships to WTCS students by $5 million
-The increased funding will help students gain access to an education in the technical college system and attain a degree that provides them with family-supporting jobs upon graduation.

Prioritizing Local Businesses
-The committee adopted a motion to remove the requirement for business owners to report property value for computer aid payments.
-This action removes a significant administrative burden on businesses and continues Assembly Republicans' efforts to reduce government red tape.

Keeping Property Taxes Low
-The committee voted to approve the Governor’s recommendation to require certain municipalities to reduce their property tax levy after certain debt service obligations are met.

Improving Public Transportation
-As a result of the Volkswagen settlement, the committee adopted a motion providing $32 million to municipalities to update their bus fleets at no cost to the state.

The next JFC Executive Sessions will be held on Tuesday, May 23rd and Wednesday, May 25th. The following agencies will be discussed next Tuesday:
-Program Supplements
-State Treasurer
-Administration - Transfers
-Administration - Facilities
-Medical College of Wisconsin
-Higher Educational Aids Board
-Educational Communications Board

-University of Wisconsin System

-Children and Families - Economic Support and Child Care

The following budget areas will be covered next Thursday:
-Building Commission
-Building Program
-Health Services -- Departmentwide
-Health Services -- Medicaid Services
-Health Services -- FoodShare
-Health Services -- Mental Health, Public Health, and Other Programs

Unemployment Continues to Decline!

Wisconsin's unemployment rate continues to decline! The unemployment rate in April was 3.2%, down from 3.4% in March. This is the lowest Wisconsin's unemployment rate has been since February of 2000. According to a recent report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin has added over 29,000 private sector jobs from April 2016 to April 2017. Wisconsin has also significantly decreased its unemployment rate since its high point of 9% in 2009 under then Governor Jim Doyle. Wisconsin Republicans have worked hard to get Wisconsinites back to work and I am proud to help keep moving Wisconsin forward!

If you would like to see the report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, please click here.

Tourism Tops $20 Billion!

Thanks for Visiting!

Pastor Danny Leavins delivering the prayer before the State Assembly.

Pastor Danny Leavins and his family with me on the Assembly dais.

Last week, I was honored to introduce Pastor Danny Leavins of Calvary Bible Church in Neenah to my colleagues in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Pastor Leavins delivered an inspiring opening prayer for our Assembly floor session. Thank you to Pastor Leavins and his family for visiting the Capitol!

Legislative Website

If you are interested in learning more about bills that I have authored, co-sponsored, or voted on please click here.  This link will take you directly to my Wisconsin State Legislative page.  Also, if you are interested in viewing my office website, click here.


As always, if you have any comments or thoughts regarding the subject of this
E-Update, please feel free to contact me.

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State Capitol Room 321 East - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-5719