March 16, 2018

Volume 4 Issue 4


State Representative Janel Brandtjen

Our State's Financial Climate

Ever since 2010, Republicans in the Legislature, along with Governor Walker, have been making bold reforms to improve the economy of Wisconsin and the fiscal responsibility of the state government. Earlier this year, the state released its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The report, which analyzes the fiscal climate of Wisconsin, was prepared by certified public accountants and audited by the Legislative Audit Bureau. These are the parts of the report I believe deserve special attention:

  • The unemployment rate in Wisconsin is at a historic low. In 2011, the statewide rate was at 7.5%. Today, after years of economic recovery and growth, the rate is down to 3%. That is well below the national rate of 4.1%, and Wisconsin has the lowest unemployment rate of any state in the Great Lakes region.

  • Another measure of our state's fiscal climate that is improving is personal income. In Fiscal Year 2016, the per capita amount was $46,762. Compared to 2011, that is a growth of 18.2%.

  • For Wisconsin, the greatest increase in spending relates to Medicaid expenditures. In Fiscal Year 2011, the amount of state funding for Medicaid was around $1.5 billion. In Fiscal Year 2017, that amount increased to $2.7 billion. Just in the 2015-2017 biennium, state funding for Medicaid was increased by $315.6 million. No other state has had as large an increase in Medicaid funding over the same six-year period.

  • We are continuing to make great strides when it comes to improving our state's infrastructure. In 2011, 12% of the roads in Wisconsin received a "poor" rating based on the International Roughness Index. However, by 2017, that percentage was cut down to 7.4%. Similarly, the percentage of Wisconsin bridges that were deemed "structurally deficient" decreased from 3.6% to 3.1% over the same time period.

  • The Wisconsin Rainy Day Fund ended Fiscal Year 2017 with its highest amount ever, reaching a balance of $283 million.

These are just some of the highlights found in the analysis done by the CPAs and the LAB. You can view the full report here.

Wisconsin Ranks Near the Top

It's obvious to anyone that lives here that Wisconsin is a great state. We're proud to call this state our home, and I'd like to highlight some aspects that make it so special. Several reports have been released this month which rank Wisconsin among the best states in the nation according to various metrics. The various reports are:

  • WalletHub, a financial advisement website, ranked Wisconsin fifth best in the nation for women. Wisconsin ranked first in female high school graduation rate, second in social and economic well-being for women, and third for highest percentage of women who voted in the 2016 election. You can view the full rankings here.

  • US News and World Report ranked Wisconsin #11 in their ranking of the best states in the US, according to various metrics. Wisconsin ranked second in voter participation, third in quality of life, third in pension fund liability, and fourth in employment gap by gender, among many other favorable rankings. You can view the full report here.

However, I don't believe reports are necessary in order for us Wisconsinites to realize how great our state is. Nor can any report fully measure just how special Wisconsin truly is. Those of us that live here already love our state, and will always rank it the best in the nation.

God Bless Wisconsin!

************************** State Capitol Room 221 North - PO Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Toll Free: (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367

Facebook:                 Website:                                                                 Twitter: @RepJanel

To unsubscribe please reply to this email with "unsubscribe" in the subject box.