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In This Edition:

A Big, Bold, Conservative Budget

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Assembly passed the 2021-23 state budget.  A few quick highlights:

Transportation

Transportation Finance: Increased the General Purpose Revenue (GPR) to the transportation fund from .25% of general fund tax collections to 1% in 2021-22 on a one-time basis, and increase the GPR transfer to the transportation fund from .25% of general fund taxes to .5% starting in 2022-23 on an ongoing basis.

Local Transportation Aid: Increased funding by 2% in each year of the biennium for County Transportation Aids and Municipal Transportation Aids. This would be $3.6M SEG over the biennium in County Aids and $15.4M SEG over the biennium in Municipal Aids.

Local Transportation Assistance: The budget included a one-time SEG funding of $100 million to be used to fund local government project costs eligible under the local roads improvement program. This investment was $25 million higher than Governor Evers’ proposal.

State Highway Program:  The budget enumerated the I-94 East-West project and kept all projects on time just as in the Governor’s budget. It also provides $40 million to keep the project moving forward. The committee approved alternative delivery options for road projects that are designed to save on project costs and provide $20 million for these projects. Funding for the installation of fencing improvements on the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee County was also included.

Investing in our Students

Over the past year, we have seen students struggle as they were forced to stay home. Now more than ever, investments in student mental health are important as we move out of the pandemic and back to normal.

This budget doubles mental health aids for our students, provides a 50% increase for school-based mental health services collaboration grants, and reaches 30% of costs for special education funding – the highest levels ever. With property tax relief, we also achieve 2/3rds funding for Wisconsin schools.

Wisconsin has received nearly $2.5 billion alone in federal aid for K-12 schools. This was a major part of the discussion when determining the K-12 budget as this is a substantial amount of money that significantly outpaces previous historic increases for K-12 education.

  • This budget still provides a historic increase in Per Pupil Funding for in-person schools if they were in person more than 50% of the time - a $781 minimum.
  • State aid to schools has increased every year for nine years.
  • All education spending takes up nearly half of all state general fund spending.
  • While not the sole indicator of school district health, it should be noted that school district fund balances are the highest they have been and the highest as a percentage of school expenditures.

Taxes

Republicans have been consistent: when there is a budget surplus, we have consistently sent money back to the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin.  Individuals, families, and businesses know how to spend their hard-earned money better than the government.

  • Governor Evers’ budget raised taxes by over $1 billion. Our budget cuts taxes by over $3.4 billion. 
  • Under our plan, we will provide $650 million in property tax relief and achieve 2/3rds funding of schools.
  • Property taxes as a percentage of home value are lower now than they were in 2010.
  • Reduce the third bracket from 6.27% to 5.3% for state income taxes.
  • Over the biennium, this is a $2.3 billion income tax cut.
  • Under this budget, Income Taxes as a percentage of General Fund Revenue will drop from 50% to 45.8%
Election Integrity: audit process

The recent Spring Survey shows that residents of the 97th Assembly District believe that election integrity is the single most important issue facing Wisconsin.  My office continues to receive dozens, if not hundreds of emails on a weekly basis advocating for an effective and thorough audit, and immediate reforms to our elections systems.

In February, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved an audit.  From the scope memo, this is what the elections administration audit is expected to cover:

  • Efforts by the Elections Commission to comply with elections laws, including by working with clerks to ensure voter registration data include only eligible voters, and by providing training and guidance to clerks;
  • Efforts by clerks to comply with elections laws, including by administering elections, processing absentee ballots, and performing recount responsibilities, as well as the observations and concerns of clerks regarding elections administration;
  • The use of electronic voting systems, including the methodology and results of the Elections Commission's most-recent statutorily required post-election audit and the actions taken as a result of this audit; and
  • General Election-related complaints filed with the Elections Commission and clerks, as well as how those complaints were addressed.

Work on the audit by the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) is in progress. There are no updates available during the course of the audit because, by law, the LAB's work is confidential while in progress and performed independently of the Legislature [13.94,  13.53(5)]

 

The LAB anticipates that the audit will be complete and the audit report will be published in the fall of 2021. The audit report will be available on the front page of the LAB website when it comes out as well as archived in the audit reports by year section of the LAB website.

Parent Giving Birth is a "Mother"

Pride goes before the fall.

In his first year as governor, 2019, Tony Evers directed that the gay pride flag be flown over the Capitol and other state buildings for the month of June to honor the LGBTQ community.

In June of 2021 Governor Evers signed Executive Order #121 directing all state agencies to modify forms to be “gender neutral” and, according to a press release dated June 28, 2021, specifically birth certificates to redefine mothers as “parent giving birth” and generically describe fathers as parent.”  The cost of these form changes to the taxpayers of the State of Wisconsin is unclear.

The consequences of this extreme policy are also unclear.

God is our witness and our judge.

We can dismiss these changes as the actions of an extreme governor, shrug our shoulders, and say “oh well.”  If we choose that course of action, we are complicit in the changes.

Thousands of years of human history and countless dictionaries are clear that the parent giving birth is the female, and specifically the mother.  The intentional redefinition by the governor in the name of treating people with “dignity and respect” is, in fact, disrespectful to the human race.  It is an insult to our collective intelligence and diminution of motherhood.

Redefining words is a very slippery slope and leads to unknown consequences.

You might recall that one of the central principles of the Marxist organization known as Black Lives Matter is to disrupt the nuclear family.  We have known for decades, if not centuries, that the nuclear family is the building block of a strong society.  We know that positive outcomes in children are highly correlated with the presence of both a mother and father at home.  What might be the motivation behind the desire to disrupt the nuclear family?

More importantly, what are you going to do to stop the assault on the family?  Will you call or write to the governor?  Will you educate yourself on the truth behind the Marxist/socialist movement and its modern tactics?

Happy Independence Day!

John Adams said that Independence Day should be "solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."  This year, we're celebrating 245 years of Independence!

Join the City of Waukesha Holiday celebration with a parade that kicks off at 11:00 am. At dusk head over to the Waukesha County Expo Grounds to get ready for a great fireworks celebration, with the show beginning at 9:30 pm.