2019-21 Assembly Budget Amendments 

 

Assembly Amendment 2: Healthcare Provisions 

This amendment respects the will of the people and expands Medicaid to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars and provide more affordable health care options. It also invests savings and new federal funding from Medicaid expansion towards eliminating health disparities and continue to improve the health of Wisconsinites.

  • Expands Medicaid, which will leverage $1.6 billion in new federal funding to invest in the health and well-being of all Wisconsinites by supporting vital health care programs. This is done all while saving state taxpayers $324 million.
  • Significant investment in lead poisoning prevention and treatment, including funding for lead testing and lead paint abatement in the homes of CHIP eligible children and pregnant women.
  • Makes a significant investment in improving women’s health and birth outcomes in Wisconsin.
  • Makes additional state investment in Medicaid Crisis Intervention services, including a grant program to establish five regional crisis stabilization facilities.
  • Sets up a prescription drug price review process for price hikes and bringing transparency and accountability to drug pricing.
  • Provides funding for a healthy aging grant program, providing programming related to falls prevention and chronic disease management.
  • Expands the dementia care specialist program to the tune of 27 new dementia care specialists across all Aging and Disability Resource Centers across the state.

 

Assembly Amendment 3: K-12 Public Education 

Assembly Democrats firmly believe that what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state. This amendment helps to give students the best opportunity to get ahead.

  • This amendment provides a $600 million increase in the general aid formula, while implementing the Fair Funding for Our Future proposal, ensuring equal treatment of all districts, and recommits the state to funding two-thirds of school revenues.
  • The amendment also increases special education funding for the first time in almost a decade by $606 million over base levels.
  • Increases sparsity aid for rural school districts.
  • Invests $22 million for mental health staff and $7 million in grants for school based mental health services.
  • Adopts transparency and accountability measures for voucher schools.
  • Increases school breakfast reimbursements and school milk.

 

Assembly Amendment 4: UW Systems

This amendment recognizes that the UW-System and the Wisconsin Technical College System are key parts of our state’s economy, educating thousands of young people—many of whom will stay and work in Wisconsin.

  • This amendment recognizes the value of our colleges and universities, investing more than $150 million in the UW-System.
  • The amendments continues to freeze undergraduate tuition, but funds the freeze so universities can continue to serve our state.
  • Makes an additional $36 million investment over base in our Wisconsin Technical College System.
  • Begins to address the growing student loan debt crisis in the face of federal inaction by directing a study to create a state-run student loan refinancing authority and to provide recommendations for an effective and feasible way to lower interest rate costs for borrowers.
  • The amendment also includes $17.3 million over the biennium for need-based Wisconsin grants. This surpasses the sum of all increases provided in these programs over the previous four biennia by $2.1 million GPR.

 

Assembly Amendment 5: Clean Drinking Water, Clean Environment 

This amendment ensures healthy communities by supporting safe, clean drinking water and promoting clean energy proposals after years of Republican policies that favored polluters over people.

  • $40M in bond-backed lead service replacement to support local governments;
  • Increased funding for Clean Water Fund, Safe Drinking Water Program, and increased Safe Drinking Water Program loan term;
  • An additional $1.5 million annual for grants through Soil and Water Resource Management and $10 million in bonding to support efforts to combat runoff; 
  • Fully funds and staff the Governor’s budget request on state park staffing
  • Restores the Science Bureau at the DNR.

 

Assembly Amendment 6: Closing the Dark Store Loophole

This amendment would close a tax loophole that allows big-box retailers to reduce their property taxes by assessing their stores as if they were vacant, or “dark,” stores, thus lowering their tax bills at the expense of homeowners.

  • Asking homeowners to subsidize big-box national retailers is wrong and this amendment changes that.
  • Requires that real property be assessed at its highest and best use.
  • Requires that in determining the value of real property an assessor must consider any lease provisions and actual rent pertaining to a property and affecting its value.
  • Assessment must be based on market rent rather than actual rent.