Lasee's Notes
September 28, 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.

Windy?  Nope, Just a Sigh of Relief!


 

 

Did you feel that strong breeze last Thursday, September 21st?  It wasn’t actually unseasonable warm weather, on the last official day of summer, moving into Wisconsin. That breeze was the collective sigh of relief from many Wisconsinites, me included, that the 2017-2019 biennial state budget, now known as 2017 Act 59 was signed into law. With 99 vetoes Governor Walker signed the 399 page document into law culminating over a year’s worth of work by everyone in both the state’s legislative and executive branches. 

 

The new budget funds everything from a new Inspector General for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to improvements to a ski jump in Vernon County and is the most important piece of legislation passed every session by the state legislature.   Here are some of the highlights of the new budget.

 


From last Thursday’s bill signing of the new budget. I have to remember to
stand near taller people at these signings as I look like giant in this picture.

 

Act 59 increases the Wisconsin’s funding in K-12 schools by $636 million. This increase includes new funding for things such as $3 million for school social workers and $2.5 million of school mental health services. The biggest item funded in this increase is per pupil spending. The two-year budget increases per pupil spending by $200 per student in the first year and another $204 increase in the second year.  

 

 

 

This increase in K-12 funding brings the state’s total commitment for this budget to $11.5 billion for K-12 education.  Making this state budget the highest amount of money spent on K-12 education in Wisconsin’s history. The legislature and Governor Walker recognize that caring for and educating our kids is one of the biggest, most important things the state government is charged with. 

 

  

 

With so many employers requiring additional education and training this budget helps students and their families affordably obtain the needed high education.  Act 59 freezes tuition at every University of Wisconsin System School for the sixth year in row while increasing funding for needs-based financial aid grants to its highest level ever. This budget creates an Early College Credit Program to help high school students take college and technical school courses while in high school. This new program will cut down on the cost and time it will take a student to earn a technical school or college degree.

 

This budget doesn’t raise sales or income taxes, cuts the property tax businesses pay on machinery and tools they already own, and eliminates the sales tax on internet services.  In addition, Act 59 eliminates the state portion of property tax bills.  By ending the State Forestry Mill Tax the $86 million a year property tax for forestry programs creates a savings for all Wisconsin property payers.

 

 

Act 59 isn’t the first time we have cut property taxes.  The Governor and legislature has been committed to letting taxpayers to keep more of their own money since taking office in 2011.

 

I am pleased the budget includes items that will have a direct impact on the constituents of the first Senate District. The $3.2 million grant for dock construction and dredging projects in the Sturgeon Bay Harbor will help create jobs.  Act 59 includes funding for studying the amount and impact of farm and other nutrients in the rivers of Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and Ozaukee Counties. The new budget includes funding for rebuilding historic Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park.

 

I am disappointed that Governor vetoed the 18 additional nursing home beds for Door County Memorial Hospital that was added by the Joint Finance Committee. I will continue to work with the Department of Health Services on getting these much needed additional beds. 

 

 

The 2017-2019 budget continues Wisconsin on the path of fiscal responsibility and sensible investment Governor Walker started when he took office during January of 2011. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Walker and my legislative colleagues for a fiscally-sound Wisconsin that invests in its citizens.

 

For a complete breakdown of the new budget please visit the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s budget page.

Now that the budget has been signed into law the legislature is getting back to holding committee hearings and getting bills ready for the fall legislative session. To keep up to date on when committees are meeting and their agendas check out the Wisconsin Legislature home page.    



 
 

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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