JULY 10, 2015
State Budget Passes Legislature
This week, both
houses of the legislature discussed and passed the 2015-17 state budget
bill. The bill will be delivered to Governor Walker for his signature.
Joint Finance Committee
Each member of the Joint Finance Committee was assigned specific agencies and issue areas for in-depth analysis. My agency assignments included the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Workforce Development, and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA).
I had the opportunity to craft a stewardship compromise which resulted in a more financially responsible and sustainable program that balances two precious resources -- our natural heritage and taxpayer dollars. Our plan provides for the purchase of the "best of the best" land acquisitions and easements and provides substantial support for local assistance programs and the Ice Age Trail.
Vulnerable populations are better served in this budget. We approved the merger of the Department of Children and Families with community-based Juvenile Justice which will allow for a more coordinated approach and better outcomes for at-risk families. We invested $2 million in services for child sex trafficking victims. Our budget expands Family Care statewide, a transition that Rock County has asked for on behalf of our frail elder, developmentally disabled, and intellectually disabled citizens.
Worker training opportunities were expanded under this budget. We provided continued funding for the Wisconsin Fast Forward worker training program, various youth and adult apprenticeship programs, and Career and Technical Education (CTE) grants for school districts. We also expanded the Transitional Jobs program, which provides pathways to employment for noncustodial fathers, to additional communities including Beloit.
There were no substantive changes to WHEDA, although I did have the opportunity to provide input on the Governorís proposed merger of WHEDA with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation which was not adopted in the JFC budget.
I advocated to prioritize the I-39/90 interstate expansion project. I understand the importance of this transportation corridor to public safety, economic development and tourism for the region and the entire state of Wisconsin. I remain committed to working with the Department of Transportation on this issue.
You can follow the construction schedule and sign up for updates here: http://projects.511wi.gov/i-39-90/
If you have any comments
regarding the subject of this E-Update, please feel free to contact me.
You can now keep in touch with me on my official Facebook page and Twitter account!If you would like to be removed from future mailings, please email me and ask to unsubscribe.