Prioritizing the Budget

Wisconsin’s 2021-2023 biennium budget is fiscally responsible while simultaneously maintaining the state’s top priorities.  It represents Wisconsinites from all walks of life in every area of the state. 

The budget continues delivering on our promises and providing historic per pupil increases for in-person schools. Every child, everywhere deserves access to the best possible education.

  • Maintains base-budget funding for all school districts statewide
  • Achieves 2/3 funding of schools
  • Guarantees a minimum of $781 per pupil with federal funds for all school districts that were in-person at least 50% in 2020-21
  • Special Education (10% increase to 30% of eligible costs)
  • Mental Health (additional $12 million that doubles our investment)
  • Sparsity Aid ($6.3 million increase, expanded eligibility)
  • High Cost Transportation Aids ($13 million investment)
  • $350 million transferred to the Rainy Day Fund for future education needs

The budget continues past efforts and is investing in high-quality healthcare that benefits all Wisconsin residents from the elderly, to new mothers, to those dealing with substance abuse.

  • Long-term care facility (nursing home) reimbursement rate increases of $254 million equaling a 12% increase.
  • An additional $104 million in funding over the biennium for Direct Caregivers in Family Care.
  • An additional $78 million for personal care rate increases to support staff in personal care services agencies who perform direct care.
  • Provides a $3 million increase for Home Health Skilled Nursing Services.
  • Increases the Medicaid dental reimbursement rate by 40%

The budget invests in our infrastructure including local roads and state highways, vertical projects, critical public safety systems, and broadband internet.

  • $100 million for the local multimodal transportation grant program
  • 2% increases each year of the budget for General Transportation Aids (GTA)
  • Provides aid to low spending towns and eliminates a penalty on towns for one time large expenditures such as with a disaster
  • $125 million for Rural Broadband Internet Expansion Grants
  • The lowest Department of Transportation (DOT) bonding level in 10 years.

The budget ensures Wisconsin’s farmers and agriculture industry has the tools and resources they need to succeed.

  • Addresses challenges in the meat processing industry by approving four new state meat inspector positions
  • Creates a Meat Processor Grant program ($800,000 over the biennium)
  • Increases the Dairy Processor Grant program
  • Increases the Farmer Mental Health program by $200,000.
  • Sets aside $1 million for the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) for coordinating with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to develop a Wisconsin initiative for agricultural exports.

The budget provides targeted investments to increase access to quality child care and provides safe and appropriate options for children at risk.

  • Increases Wisconsin Shares rates to the 65th percentile - an increase from Wisconsin’s current rate which is at the 30th percentile.
  • Increases funding for direct child care subsidies by $11 million Federal Revenue in the first year and $18.2 million in the second year of the biennium so that reimbursement rates will pay the price of at least 65% of the slots for children with the child care provider system.

The budget delivers substantial investments to protect our state’s natural resources while responding to the needs of statewide sporting heritage groups.

  • Reauthorizes the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program for four years at $35 million each year
  • $1 million for clean-up of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) found in firefighting foam
  • Adds $1.5 million to the Parks Development Fund for State Park improvements such as campsite maintenance, trail maintenance and more
  • $2 million over the biennium for the Well Compensation Grant Program
  • $6.5 million for rural nonpoint source water pollution abatement grants
  • ATV/UTV Trail and Project aids ($1.5 million)

Wisconsin’s individuals, families, and businesses know how to spend their money better than the government. The budget returns $3.4 billion of surplus back to Wisconsin tax payers.

  • Reduces the third income tax bracket of 6.27% down to 5.3%. This is a $2.3 billion income tax cut that will save the typical Wisconsin family almost $500 per year
  • $650 million directed towards property tax relief. This will be approximately a $300 property tax savings for a typical home
  • $200 million to eliminate the personal property tax, taking a burden off main street small businesses around the state as they work to recover and grow
  • Creates a nonrefundable tax credit for child and dependent care expenses starting in tax year 2022

The budget continues its promise to protect our heroes who have risked their all protecting all of us - Wisconsin’s veterans.

  • Provides $200,000 over the biennium to fund suicide prevention awareness activities for our veterans
  • $10 million in spending authority to help Veterans Homes defray costs incurred in the event another public health emergency or natural disaster occurs
  • Increases the grant limit to $175,000 per organization for veteran services organizations like the American Legion to help them with costs associated with helping veteran’s process disability claims
  • Provides $76,200 more per year to county veterans service officers.

All the priorities mentioned above were funded while transferring $550 million into Wisconsin’s Budget Stabilization Fund. By the end of the biennium, this Rainy Day Fund is estimated to reach $2.1 billion.

In addition, the budget meets the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement from the Federal government to capture $2.6 billion in corona virus relief aid for Wisconsin schools.

Wisconsin’s 2021-2023 biennium budget makes strategic investments in every essential function of state government including schools, healthcare, higher education, children and families, transportation, corrections, emergency services, natural resources, agriculture, broadband and more. It’s the first budget in 12 years to receive bipartisan support.  As the Representative to the 40th Assembly District, I voted “Yes.”