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Weekly E-Update

Dear Neighbor,

Welcome to my latest e-update. Here is a summary from the past week as your State Representative. 

As always, previous updates are available on our website and social media. 

Please contact my office with any questions or concerns.

In solidarity,

Robyn Vining    

Special Session on BadgerCare Expansion

Democrats hosted a press conference on Tuesday before the Governor’s Special Session on BadgerCare Expansion. Sadly only two Republicans showed up to the special session. The GOP members present immediately adjourned the special session, without debate or a vote on the $1.6B BadgerCare Expansion. 

With more than a 70% approval rating, BadgerCare expansion failed to pass. I believe BadgerCare expansion to be both the fiscally and morally right decision, and I am very disappointed. Please feel free to contact my office with any questions. (Democrats, because we are the minority party, cannot call a vote— only the majority party can call a vote.)

Read my full statement from last week on the BadgerCare expansion special session HERE. 

Small Business Recovery Grants

Governor Evers recently announced that $420 million dollars from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) will be directed towards small business economic recovery grants. The Wisconsin Tomorrow Small Business Recovery Grants program is a collaboration between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR). 

The application for these grants opened Monday morning and will be available until June 7th at 4:30PM. Small businesses that have a gross revenue between $10,000 and $7 million can receive a $5,000 grant.

Learn more about this program and apply HERE.

State Budget Update


TOPLINE HIGHLIGHT: GOP motion failed to adequately fund our K-12 schools

The GOP proposal that passed on party lines yesterday by the Joint Committee on Finance provides less than 10% of the K-12 education funding proposed by Governor Evers, which will deeply affect all three legs of the stool that is Wisconsin K-12 education funding: special education, mental health, and meeting the changing demographics and unique needs of school districts around the state.

Furthermore, Republican members of JFC are relying on federal, one-time funding that is tied to the pandemic to fund long-term budgets. I am concerned by this approach — that is not how responsible, sustainable, long-term budgets are written. As our school districts continue to face challenges emerging from the pandemic, we should fund them carefully and reliably for the long-term.

From Elmbrook Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Hansen:

Elmbrook remains disappointed in the lack of commitment to children from the Joint Finance Committee. They had an
opportunity to change the lives of kids today, and they passed on it. I am tired of partisan politics getting in the way of what is best for our kids. It is time for them to step up and correct this.”

Read the full statement from the Southeastern Wisconsin Schools Alliance HERE


The Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) met on Thursday in an executive session on the state budget on the following items: 

  • Department of Public Instruction
    • Democrats on the committee offered Motion #51 which was nearly identical to Governor Evers’ DPI budget. The omnibus motion would allocate over $1.556 billion in GPR total school aid, an increase of 12.4% over the base year doubled. That allocation includes $612.82 million in general aid while increasing revenue limits (per pupil adjustments) by $200 and $204 in 2021 and 2023 respectively. The motion also included an increase in the flat per pupil aid by $8 per pupil in regular aid and $75 per pupil  in high poverty aid. The motion also makes adjustments to the administration of the per pupil aid calculation. Motion failed 4-11.
    • The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #59 which included a total GPR increase of $128 million in total K-12 funding. This motion would increase the K-12 GPR appropriation by roughly 1% over base year and 0.5% in 2021. The budget included just 10% of what Governor Evers proposed. As it stands, funding levels in this motion would not meet the maintenance of effort to qualify for federal coronavirus funds, which would mean Wisconsin would not qualify for any of the federal funds in the CARES, CAA or ARPA for ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief). The motion passed 11-4.
  • Higher Education (WTCS, HEAB, UW System)
    • Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #55 (as amended, with removal of item 1) for the Wisconsin Tech College System, Higher Educational Aids Board and UW System. The motion would fund the Governor’s budget requests for all of higher education, including fully funding the UW tuition freeze for the biennium and over $187 million in total additional state tax dollar investment in higher education compared to current funding levels. The motion failed along party lines 4-11.
    • Republicans offered omnibus Motion #58 for higher education. The motion included no increases in general aids for UW system or HEAB, with total additional state tax dollar investment of just $21 million for the biennium. The motion also took no action on the UW system in-state tuition freeze, which under current law is set to expire at the end of 2019-21 biennium. Pending UW Regent action, Republicans effectively increased UW system tuition for in-state students and their families after 8 years of the freeze. Finally, the motion’s spending increase does not match the minimum maintenance of effort requirements under the federal coronavirus acts, meaning without additional investment in higher ed. (along with K-12 above), Wisconsin would not currently qualify for ESSER funds. The Republican motion passed 11-4.

The Joint Committee on Finance will meet again on Wednesday, June 2nd at 1pm on the following agencies:

  • Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection -- Departmentwide
  • Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection -- Agricultural Assistance
  • Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection -- Regulatory Programs
  • Natural Resources -- Departmentwide
  • Natural Resources -- Fish and Wildlife
  • Natural Resources -- Motorized Recreation
  • Workforce Development -- Departmentwide and Worker's Compensation
  • Workforce Development -- Employment and Training
  • Workforce Development -- Equal Rights and Employment Regulation
  • Workforce Development -- Unemployment Insurance
  • Environmental Improvement Fund
  • Safety and Professional Services 

The Ability Center - CBS58 Everyday Heroes

I visited this park and spoke with Damian a few weeks ago (I forgot to take a picture!). This week, the park was featured on CBS58 news with Natalie Shepherd’s Everyday Heroes series.

Damian, when we have spoken, talks about a world for “everyBODY”, something he told me as we rolled out my Universal Changing Stations bill last session. May we move forth in the world in a way that is more inclusive to everyBODY.

Read the full story HERE

Wisconsin Statehood 

Happy birthday, Wisconsin! Wisconsin became a state on May 29th, 1848, becoming the 30th state in the Union. 

Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day - may we remember and honor those who have served and lost their lives, and their families and loved ones. 

I wish everyone a peaceful, safe, and relaxing weekend. 

 COVID-19 Vaccine Update

As of May 27th, 5,111,247 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Wisconsin and 47.4% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose, with 41.5% fully vaccinated. 

En español, AQUI¿Tiene preguntas sobre la vacuna contra el COVID-19? Llame al 844-684-1064 (llamada gratuita)

For more information about where you can get a vaccine, visit the DHS website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in Waukesha County, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Wauwatosa, visit their website HERE.

For more information about where to get vaccinated in the city of Milwaukee, visit their website HERE. En español AQUI

COVID-19 Case Update

For daily updated information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit the DHS website HERE.

14th District Counties

Milwaukee - 106,927 confirmed cases (increase of 36)
Waukesha -  44,032 confirmed cases (increase of 9)

*Changes over day prior


Forward together,

Rep. Robyn Vining


Contact Us: 

State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708 

PH: (608) 266-9180
TF: (888) 534-0014

Email: Rep.Vining@legis.wi.gov 
Web: www.vining.assembly.wi.gov 

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