Joint Finance Turns Focus to UW, Criminal Justice and DNR

The Joint Finance Committee continued working through the budget this week focusing on the UW System, the criminal justice system and the Department of Natural Resources.

The UW System submitted a budget request in January for $80 million. The committee agreed to increase funding by $93 million over the biennium and froze tuition for Wisconsin undergraduate students for another two years. The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates the freeze has saved the average Wisconsin student more than $6,000 over four years.

The committee also increased funding for more prosecutors statewide, improving compensation for prosecutors and public defenders and raising the rate paid to private attorneys that choose to take on public defender assignments. This investment ensures that victims of crime will receive swift justice and provides alternatives to certain offenders that are willing to make responsible life changes.

Lastly, the committee adopted a significant portion of Gov. Evers' budget proposal increasing funding for water quality and environmental conservation efforts by nearly $16 million over the biennium. Preserving our natural resources and improving water quality are priorities. The committee took great strides in meeting those goals this week.

Next week, the committee will take up the Departments of Health Services and Children and Families.

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Take My Spring Survey

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The budget is in full swing and the budget writing committee is moving quickly. Please remember to take my spring survey to guarantee your voice is heard in the process before it's too late! You can access my survey by clicking on the icon above or visiting reprodriguez.com.

Celebrating Statehood


On May 21st Wisconsin celebrated 171 years of statehood, becoming the 30th state to join the Union in 1848. Back then the population was only 304,456 according to the Wisconsin Historical Society.
Here are a few more interesting facts about our great state:
• Nelson Dewey was the first governor of Wisconsin, taking office in 1848

• Wisconsin became a territory – prior to statehood – in 1836
• The first Wisconsin State Capitol was located in Belmont, Wisconsin

For more historical background about Wisconsin visit the Wisconsin Historical Society website: https://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-014/?action=more_essay


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