Lasee's Notes
February 14, 2017

Lasee's Notes is a way for me to communicate directly with you on key issues of our day
and to champion limited government, lower taxes, and individual liberty.
How we respond to these issues today, will affect the direction of our state and nation tomorrow.

I look forward to hearing from you about the issues of concern to you. Please feel free to contact me, Sen.Lasee@legis.wisconsin.gov or (608) 266-3512. If you are planning to be in Madison, please visit, I look forward to seeing you at the Capitol.

Governor Walker's 2017 Budget Proposal:
Another Step Forward


 

Last week I was in the State Assembly Chamber to hear Governor Walker’s fourth state budget address, I took a moment to reflect on how far Wisconsin has come since November 2, 2010. Why since November 2, 2010? That was the night I was first elected to the State Senate, both houses of the state legislature flipped from being controlled by Democrats to having Republicans in the majority, and after eight years of Diamond Jim Doyle, Scott Walker was elected governor. Is Wisconsin better off now than it was that night in November of 2010? Heck yeah it is!

  

Wisconsin’s workforce is definitely flourishing with the unemployment rate at a 16 year low. 2016 saw the highest level of employment in state history and 2015 and 2016 were the best back-to-back years of average weekly wage growth in over a decade. More people are working than ever before.

The percentage of personal income spent on property taxes is the lowest it has been since World War II. During 2013-2014 alone Wisconsinites saw a $423.6 million reduction in income taxes. Property taxes have been frozen or limited to the rate of inflation since July of 2011.


The last time the percentage of personal income spent on property taxes was this low!!

After listening to the Governor’s speech, I am proud to say Governor Walker gets it! The governor understands that all Wisconsinites want the same things, they all want Wisconsin to be a great place to live, work, play, have kids, go to school, open a business, and retire. The governor’s budget allows families to keep more money in their pockets, so they can spend it the way they want instead of the government spending it for them.

The Governor’s proposed budget increases funding for K-12 schools to its highest level ever for our public schools with the single largest increase in funding in over a decade. The proposed $629 million increase over the biennium includes a $200 per student increase for 2017-18 school year and a $204 per student increase for 2018-19 school year. However, throwing money at K-12 schools doesn’t automatically make students smarter. We need more fantastic educators to do that. This budget creates the “Grow your Own” Teacher program to help K-12 staff members already working in schools to become educators and allows school districts to share specialized teachers freeing up more money and resources for school districts. Giving school districts not only more money but the tools and resources for students to get the best education possible is something that Wisconsin has been doing since 2011 and continues to do through 2019 in this state budget.

Speaking of 2011, the 2017-19 proposed state budget eliminates the state portion of the property tax levy while investing more money into the general School Levy Property Tax Credit. This change coupled with the property tax cuts since 2011 will lead to a $706 savings for property tax owners since 2010. Sometimes people say, "Well, that isn’t very much over the years." Yet we were so used to our property taxes going up and up and up.

The Governor’s proposed 2017-2019 budget contains nearly $600 million in tax and fee reductions and lets more Wisconsinites keep their hard-earned money while investing in schools and the people of our great state. As the proposed budget makes its way through the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC), Assembly, State Senate, and is signed into law by Governor Walker, I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.
 



 
 

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Lasee's Notes, please feel free to contact me.

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State Capitol Room 316S, PO Box 7882, Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-3512
Email: Sen.Lasee@legis.wisconsin.gov