June 2nd, 2017

Joint Finance Committee Update

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) continues 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 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 the sessions this last week:

Supporting Libraries
-The Committee increased funding for library aids by $1.5 million.
-This increase in library aids brings their funding back to pre-2011 levels.

-The Committee approved $59,500 in 2017-18 to the Wisconsin Arts Board to match federal fund awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. This grant money will be used to support arts organizations and programming across the state of Wisconsin.

Investing in Workforce Training
-The Committee approved the Governor’s recommendation to invest $11.5 million in Fast Forward grants, which fund workforce training programs.
-The Committee also adopted a motion to increase funding for Career and Technical Education grants by $1 million. This program provides funding to school districts for each student who earns a technical education certificate.
-The Committee adopted a motion to provide up to $1 million for grants to school districts for the purchase of technical education equipment. This equipment will be used in school districts to provide students with job-ready skills upon their graduation.
-The Committee adopted a motion to support the Building Occupational Skills for Success (BOSS) program in Milwaukee, which trains students to be business owners.

Wisconsin Natural Resources Magazine
-The Committee adopted a motion that maintains the Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine published by DNR, but reduces the frequency of the magazine and streamlines its administration. Preservation of the magazine was requested by numerous constituents and representatives.

Preserving Wisconsin’s Outdoor Heritage
The Committee provided funding for several of the following projects across the state:
-Up to $1 million for a grant to Iron County for a project to rebuild Saxon Harbor marina and campground.
-Up to $1 million for development of 13 mile long abandoned rail corridor in Racine County.
-Up to $750,000 for up to 50% of the costs to reconstruct Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park.
-Up to $500,000 for a grant to City of Horicon to enhance a shelter in Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area.

Thanks for Visiting!!


This week, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson visited the Capitol. Senator Johnson gave us an update on what is happening with the federal government in Washington. It was great to hear from the Senator, and I look forward to continuing to work with his office in the future.

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.


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State Capitol Room 321 East - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-5719
Email: Rep.Rohrkaste@legis.wisconsin.gov