May 7, 2021

Spring has sprung!

This week I was very busy on the Joint Finance Committee. My colleagues and I removed the policy proposals from the governor's budget that would increase the state deficit and increase taxes on Wisconsinites. Additionally, we approved a proposal to expand the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center.

The weather is finally making a turn for the better! We had a (mostly) warm week, and the tulips are in full bloom outside of the capitol building. If you ever find yourself in Madison, make sure to stop by and enjoy our state's beautiful and historic capital building, which is finally open to the public.

As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions.  Best wishes on your weekend!

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Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center Shows Progress In Treating Child  Psychopaths | Wisconsin Public Radio

Expanding the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center

On Thursday my colleagues and I on the Joint Finance Committee approved a proposal from the Department of Health Services (DHS) for expansion of the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center (MJTC).  

Act 185, passed by the legislature in 2017, directed DHS to add no less than 29 beds to secured residential care centers for children and youth. This proposal will add 2 male-only units and 2 female-only units, totaling 50 additional beds. MJTC is currently operating with only 29 beds. 

Additionally, if all beds at MJTC are not being used, the extra beds can be used for patients at the Mendota Mental Health Institute. For several years, there has been a waiting list at the Mendota Mental Health Institute of 60-70 patients. Because this request has been approved, MJTC and the Mendota Mental Health Institute will be better equipped to treat juveniles and adults with mental health or behavioral problems.

Cleaning up the budget

Additionally, my colleagues and I on the Joint Finance Committee began the process of reviewing Governor Evers' 2021-2023 budget proposal. In his proposal, the governor included several policy proposals that we removed from consideration. Below are just a few of the provisions that we removed from the budget:

  • Limits on parental school choice
  • Increasing taxes by over $1 billion
  • The largest spending increases in nearly 20 years
  • Removing drug testing for welfare recipients

I was disappointed by the amount of policy that the governor included in this budget. He proposed massive spending and tax increases at a time when many Wisconsinites are struggling to pay their bills. Not only that, but his proposal eliminates the rainy day fund and budget surplus that have made Wisconsin a financially sound state. The separation of powers is very important in this country. Instead of allowing the legislative process to take place, he chose to bypass the normal committee process that vets and reviews bills. 

As my colleagues and I work through the state budget process, we will continue to keep in mind the input we have received from public hearings and listening sessions held around the state. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you have any concerns about what is in the bill, or if you have any suggestions for budget priorities. I look forward to passing a budget that spends responsibly and funds the priorities of the citizens of Wisconsin.

Office of Rep. Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 529-0026 or (608) 266-0656 |