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The Wisconsin State Assembly passed Wisconsin’s 2019-21 biannual budget and is expected to pass the Senate today. Soon it will be sent to Governor Evers, and it has been reported that he likes the massive spending more than I do. The Governor started out with a fantasy budget with a $2 billion shortfall, so it didn’t take a great deal of creative budgeting to trim a little money from it. Wisconsin continues to spend money liberally and the taxpayers continue to be “asked” to give more. The budget that the Assembly passed spends and borrows an additional $7 billion over the prior budget. I voted no on this budget and here are a few reasons why:

The additional $500 million for our K-12 schools is funded in part through raising the revenue limits on property taxes. The projected increase in property taxes for the average household is $99 for the biennium. Why are our taxes going up when we had a substantial surplus from the last few years?

The UW System gets another $100 million, not including almost  one billion dollars in new bonding for buildings. While free speech on campus is risky at best and UW–Madison is a leader in handing out degrees in “Women’s Studies,” I’m not aware of any cost cutting savings going on, with the possible exception of combining the two-year campuses.

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund continues to get bonding authority of $32.25 million while the interest on the existing debt is one million dollars per week. The government already owns 20% of the land in the state. This is another program with an insatiable thirst for more.

The transportation portion of the budget raises registration fees from $75 to $85 per year, and title fees will be raised $95 to $164.50. These tax increases are not a fair representation of who uses the roads. A senior citizen who drives very little is now asked to pay the same, or even more, than someone who drives substantially more miles every year.

Since 2011, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LRB) is required to publish the earmark contained in the budget bill and amendments. See the targeted spending here.

Wisconsin remains a high tax state and I will continue to fight to lower taxes and cut spending.



Representative Janel Brandtjen
State Capitol, Room 12 West
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 534-0022 or (608) 267-2367 | |