Joint Finance Committee Votes by Agencies
Motion #19 offered by the Republicans and would remove 391 items from Governor Evers’ budget from consideration. Motion #19 eliminated Medicaid expansion from the budget, which will jeopardize critical investments for schools, roads and health care. The motion also removed funding for caregiving services, broadband access, retirement security, and legalizing marijuana. The removal of these items would mean that after this motion any attempt to reintroduce these items during the committee process would be considered out of order by the chair. Motion #19 was adopted, 12-4. (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion #21 offered by the Democrats would keep the Governor’s provision to expand Medicaid which would have saved the state millions, lowered premiums for families, and ensured more access to affordable health coverage. Motion #21 was not adopted, 4-12. (Voting yes, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion 22 offered by the Republican would strip all of the Governor’s proposed budget and result in JFC starting from the funding levels in the current fiscal year. JFC would then have to vote to add funding, programming or another action by majority vote. Motion 22 was adopted, 12-4. (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion 24 offered by the Republicans took up en masse all department’s standard budget adjustments, sum sufficient appropriations, and agency lapses and transfers. Motion 24 was adopted, 12-4 (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion #33 offered by the Democrats moved Governor Evers’ proposal to increase funding for the BCPL for a permanent position. The motion also created a sum sufficient PR appropriation for the payment of BCPL aids in lieu of taxes, which are paid like property tax on BCPL land. Also this motion would have created an appropriation for the deposit of gifts and grants to BCPL. Motion 33 was not adopted, 4-12 (Voting yes, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion #30 offered by the Republicans would reallocate funds from the supplies and services line for the position salary. The motion would also create a sum sufficient GPR appropriation for the aids in lieu of taxes and create an appropriation for the deposit of gifts and grants to BCPL. The Motion was adopted, 12-4 (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion #36 offered by the Democrats, moved the governor’s plan to add and fund 7.0 positions and increase suicide prevention activities by $100,000 annually. The DVA currently administers the veterans outreach and recovery program (VORP) which is a case management program helping veterans with issues ranging from mental health, substance abuse. Motion 36 was not adopted, 4-12 (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
The GOP committee members offered an omnibus motion, Motion #34, which removed the funding for the 7.0 positions for VORP but approved the governor’s recommendation on funding for suicide prevention. This motion adopted several of the governor’s recommendations including veteran home operations transfers and increased funding for the Veteran Service Organizations Grants. The motion passed 16-0
The committee approved a fuel and utilities reestimate, 16-0.
Motion #29 offered by the Republican's deleted 3 positions from ECB. The motion passed 12-4 (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Democrats offered a motion that would have among other issues, increased funding for the Wisconsin Black Historical Society. The motion failed 4-12.
Motion #25 offered by the Republican's, removed 3.84 positions from the Historical Society and approved all items with no papers except increased funding for the Wisconsin Black Historical Society. The motion passed 12-4. (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Motion #35 offered by the Democrats, approves both projects and fund ongoing costs. DFI has requested IT Modernization in order streamline notary application and renewal process and financial integrity modernization. Also in the motion was an increase the notary application fee for permanent from $20 to $40 and non-permanent (attorneys) from $50 to $100. That motion failed 4-12 (Voting yes, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
Republicans offered Motion #27 which would approve the modernization without the ongoing costs and they did not approve an increase in the notary fees. The motion passed 12-4 (Voting no, Erpenbach, Johnson, Goyke, Neubauer)
No motions were offered and the department was closed.
Democrats moved to provide one time funding to continue payroll for a retiring employee through December 2021 and maintain the commission’s workload. Motion failed 4-12.
GOP members did not approve the funding and closed the department.
The committee approved funding 8 positions in the Department of Revenue (DOR) in the debt collection department. The motion passed 16-0.
The committee also approved funding to continue 2.0 positions that work on administering the state’s unclaimed property program. The motion passed 16-0.
GOP offered Motion #32 which would delete 3.03 positions from DOR. This motion passed 12-4.
An omnibus motion, Motion #38 was proposed by Democratic members taking up all of the listed Department of Administration budget sections. Democrats on the committee moved to fund agency positions, capitol police body cameras, and the governor's housing and homelessness initiatives, totaling $72.6 million in homelessness prevention, affordable housing and other programs. Motion #38 also would create a water utility assistance program to help low-income households pay water bills. The motion provided $10.17 and $13.56 million to fund this program. This motion failed 4-12.
Prior to the motion, Democrats offered Motion #39 which would have done everything in Motion #38, additionally it would release $6 million from the JFC supplemental fund that DOA had requested in 2019. There is a remaining balance of $6 million for homelessness and housing and this balance will lapse to the general fund if not released by June 30. The motion would have also included an equity program, diversity and inclusion initiatives and equal opportunity internship program back into the DOA budget. Because this motion had items included in Motion #19, the motion was ruled out of order.
Republicans offered Motion #46. The motion provided an additional $600,000 above base for homeless housing grants and reduced nearly 10 positions. Additionally, it took no action on most of the items addressed in the DOA papers prepared for today’s hearing, leaving those items at current funding levels. The motion passed along party lines, 12-4.
Democratic members on the committee offered a motion to create a continuing appropriation to support 6 positions focusing on elections security and voter registration system maintenance. Motion failed 4-12.
The GOP members offered Motion #48, which adopted the funding in the Democratic motion, but specified the appropriation is to be used for “election security and system maintenance” rather than for “election security and maintenance of the statewide voter registration system.” The motion passed unanimously.
Democrats on the committee offered a motion to increase the principal registration and lobbyist authorization fee by $50 and provide the commission with a new Deputy Administrator position. Motion failed 4-12.
Republican members offered Motion #47, which created the Deputy Administrator position, deleted a classified ethics specialist position, and increased the lobbying fees by $10 instead of $50. The motion passed unanimously.
Democrats prepared an omnibus Motion #44, which would provide $781,800 each year for Tourism’s general marketing fund. The motion also transferred administration of the Native American Tourism of Wisconsin marketing contract, funding 3.0 permanent positions for the Office of Outdoor Recreation and funding for the Arts Board including programing for creative economy development grants.
Republicans offered Motion #45. The motion adopted the Democratic provision for the Tourism’s general marketing fund and added 3.0 positions for the Office of Outdoor Recreation, but funded them as one-time temporary positions. Additionally, it took no action on many of the Tourism items prepared for today’s hearing, including for the Arts Board and Native American Tourism. The motion passed along party lines, 12-4.
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #51 which was nearly identical to Governor Evers’ DPI budget. The omnibus motion would allocate over $1.556 billion in GPR total school aid, an increase of 12.4% over the base year doubled.
That allocation included $612.82 million in general aid while increasing revenue limits (per pupil adjustments) by $200 and $204 in 2021 and 2023 respectively. The motion also included an increase in the flat per pupil aid by $8 per pupil in regular aid and $75 per pupil in high poverty aid. The motion also makes adjustments to the administration of the per pupil aid calculation.
The Categorical Aids in the motion contained a number of provisions including $709.5 million in special education aid; this would bring the state reimbursement to 45% in 2021 and 50% in 2022. The motion also invested in a number of areas including: $46.5m in school mental health aid, $28.032m in bilingual bicultural aid, $19.96m in sparsity aid, $4m in high cost transportation aid and an increase in the reimbursement rate for pupil transported over 12 miles to school by 10 dollars from $365 to $375 beginning in 2021. Motion failed 4-11.
The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #59 which included a total GPR increase of $128 million in total K-12 funding. This motion would increase the K-12 GPR appropriation by roughly 1% over base year and 0.5% in 2021. The budget included just 10% of what Governor Evers proposed. The motion provided $85.4 million in special education funding, and it is unlikely that this funding would achieve the proration rate of 30% in the second year of the biennium. As it stands funding levels in this motion would not meet the maintenance of effort to qualify for federal coronavirus funds, which would mean Wisconsin would not qualify for any of the federal funds in the CARES, CAA or ARPA for ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief). The motion passed 11-4.
Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #55 (as amended, with removal of item 1) for the Wisconsin Tech College System, Higher Educational Aids Board and UW System. The motion would fund the Governor’s budget requests for all of higher education, including fully funding the UW tuition freeze for the biennium and over $187 million in total additional state tax dollar investment in higher education compared to current funding levels. The motion failed along party lines 4-11.
Republicans offered omnibus Motion #58 for higher education. The motion included no increases in general aids for UW system or HEAB, with total additional state tax dollar investment of just $21 million for the biennium. The motion also took no action on the UW system in-state tuition freeze, which under current law is set to expire at the end of 2019-21 biennium. Pending UW Regent action, Republicans effectively increased UW system tuition for in-state students and their families after 8 years of the freeze. Finally, the motion’s spending increase does not match the minimum maintenance of effort requirements under the federal coronavirus acts, meaning without additional investment in higher ed. (along with K-12 above), Wisconsin would not currently qualify for ESSER funds. The Republican motion passed 11-4.
Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #82, encompassing the Governor’s budget request for Military Affairs. The motion included full funding for the replacement of the Statewide Interoperable Radio Network (WISCOM) and Next Generation 911. The motion failed along party lines 4-11, with one Republican absent from the meeting.
The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #81. The motion declined to fully fund WISCOM, instead reserving $6 million of the $6.5 million needed in the JFC supplemental appropriation in 2022-23, effectively making DMA request that money again in a year and not guaranteeing the project moves forward. Additionally, the motion did not provide additional funding or positions for the Comprehensive Health and Wellness Program, a program that focuses on the mental, social and physical well-being of National Guard members. The motion passed 11-4.
DOA – Division of Gaming
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #74, the Governor’s budget request for Division of Gaming. The motion included an annual appropriation for the Tribal Youth Wellness Center and the creation of a new Director of Native American Affairs position within DOA, which would be responsible for managing relations between the state and the tribes. The motion failed 4-11.
The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #83. The motion included one-time funding for the Tribal Youth and Wellness Center (half the money in the Democrats’ motion) and did not create the new Director of Native American Affairs position. The motion passed 11-4.
Building Commission, Building Program
Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #75, the Governor’s full capital budget request. The motion included several important investments in state infrastructure throughout state government and the UW System, including a new state office building in Milwaukee, plans for a replacement of GEF 1, full $45 million funding for a Juvenile Corrections Facility in Milwaukee so that Lincoln Hills may finally close, and several overdue UW investments including a replacement for Humanities at UW–Madison and the completion of renovations of Clow Hall at UW Oshkosh. The full capital budget included $2.3 billion in state investments. The motion failed 4-11.
Republicans offered Motion #84. The motion included $800 million less in capital investments and crucially did not invest in critical infrastructure that was in the Democratic motion, including only $4 million for planning the new Juvenile Corrections Facility in Milwaukee, effectively delaying the closure of Lincoln Hills. The motion passed 11-4.
Department of Transportation, VW Settlement
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #85, encompassing the Governor’s budget request for DOT. The motion included investments in state highway rehabilitation, an increase in Mass Transit operating assistance across the state, and the enumeration of the I-94 East/West corridor. Additionally, it used $10 million from the VW settlement to fund grants for electric vehicle charging stations. It also included minimal transfer of general purpose funds to the transportation fund. The motion failed 3-12.
Republicans offered Motion #86. The motion included a 50% cut in mass transit aid for Madison and Milwaukee, a $41 million reduction in state mass transit money for the two most populous cities over the biennium, and over $205 million in state transfers to the transportation fund, an unsustainable use of state general funds in the long-term. It did also fully enumerate the I-94 East/West corridor and took no additional action on the VW settlement money. The motion passed 11-4.
Corrections and Juvenile Justice
Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #92. It was quickly ruled out of order for containing policy items that were similar to those removed in Motion 19. The items removed included policies to reform the criminal justice system, including earned release and revocation alternatives. Democrats then introduced Motion #93, encompassing the Governor’s budget request for DOC and DCF-Juvenile Justice. The motion included over $26 million in annual funding for correctional officer overtime pay and additional funding for the Opening Avenues to Reentry (OAR) program. Motion failed 4-11.
The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #96. The motion contained none of the criminal justice reforms that have been shown to work at reducing prison populations across the country, $10 million less GPR funding for overtime pay and no additional spending for OAR programs. The motion passed 11-4.
Republicans offered Motion #94, funding the additional circuit court branches mandated by 2019 Act 184 and additional funding for CCAP. The motion passed unanimously 15-0.
Justice, Public Defenders and District Attorneys
Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #95, encompassing the Governor’s budget request for DOJ, Public Defenders and District Attorneys. The motion included one-time pay progression funding totaling over $10 million for district attorneys over the biennium, and expansion of the Treatment Alternatives and Diversion (TAD) program in DOJ totaling over $19 million in GPR funding. The motion failed 4-11.
Republicans offered Motion #98. It included less than half of the pay progression increase for DA’s, and over $12 million less additional GPR funding for the TAD program. The motion passed 12-3.
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #97. The motion funded several minor items and required the full legislature to approve any hiring of outside counsel associated with redistricting or the hiring of investigators for any purpose. The motion failed 4-11.
Republicans offered Motion #78. The motion funded all items in the Democratic motion at the same level, and created a biennial appropriation to fund the Legislative Human Resources Office, but did not include the Democratic item relating to hiring of outside counsel or investigators. The motion passed unanimously.
DNR and DATCP-Environment
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #100. The motion was ruled out of order for containing policy items removed in Motion 19, including non-fiscal items from the Clear Act related to PFAS contamination and remediation. Democrats then offered Motion #99, containing all non-policy items from the Governor’s DNR and DATCP-Environment budget requests. Notably, the motion contained a 10-year reauthorization of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, with annual bonding of $70 million. It also contained several fiscal items related to PFAS remediation. The motion failed 4-11.
Republicans offered Motion #102. It contained a four-year reauthorization of the Stewardship Program, with annual bonding of just $21.25 million, fewer programs and dollars to address PFAS contamination across the state, and $34 million less overall additional funding for conservation of Wisconsin’s lands and environment. The motion passed 10-4.
Department of Health Services (DHS) & Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI)
Democrats on the motion offered Motion #103, which would accept Medicaid Expansion and save $1.6 billion in GPR funds, this would cover the maintenance of effort (MOE) to qualify Wisconsin for $2.3 billion in federal funds for K-12 schools (see memo here). This motion was ruled out of order and the Democrats on the committee appealed the rule of the chair and the ruling was upheld 11-4.
Democrats then moved an omnibus Motion #109 to include DHS, and OCI. The motion would increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes, personal care workers, autism service, emergency physician and dental health. This proposal would also allow medicaid to cover doula services, community health services, acupuncture services and it would expand postpartum eligibility for Wisconsin mothers from 60 days to one year.
The motion repealed the work requirement for able-bodied adults with dependents to participate in foodshare. The proposal increased funding for Critical Access Hospital and Disproportionate Share Hospital payments as well as funding for public health initiatives including black women and infants health, communicable disease grants and staffing, community health centers and birth to 3 programs. Motion #109 would provide funding for mental health, regional crisis response system grants, substance abuse, dementia care specialists and Alzheimer's family and caregiver support. The motion failed 4-11.
The motion would increase reimbursement rate for nursing homes, emergency physicians, chiropractic, physical therapy and dental healthcare. The motion funded personal care reimbursement rate more than in the governor’s budget.
Motion #111 would also provide increased funding for disproportionate share hospitals, substance abuse and dementia care specialists and would only expand postpartum eligibility from 60 to 90 days.
The GOP motion would spend less than the Governor’s budget on community health centers, free and charitable clinics, autism services, Alzheimer’s family and caregiver support, regional crisis response system grants and foodshare. The motion passes 11-4.
Board on Aging and Long-Term Care (BALTC)
Democrats moved Alternative 1 on BALTC paper #180. The motion would provide funding to increase ombudsman program staff by 2.0 full time positions. This motion failed 4-11.
Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #108, the Governor’s budget request for DCF. The motion included funding increases for programs to provide assistance to struggling families, make childcare more affordable and invest in foster care and adoption programs. The motion increased funds to these critical programs by over $150 million over the biennium. The motion failed 4-11.
Republicans offered Motion #110. The motion increased funding to priority programs by less than half the Governor’s budget request. Motion passed 11-4.
Public Service Commission (PSC)
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #106, which had items that were removed from further consideration. The items included broadband provision as well as focus on energy programs and electric vehicle charging stations. This motion was ruled out of order.
Motion #107 would create an annual appropriation using GPR of $74.793 million in 2021 and $72.941 million in 2022 to fund a broadband expansion grant program issued by PSC. The motion would also provide planning grants and a broadband line extension grant program. The motion failed 4-11.
GOP members offered Motion #112, which would offer $125 million in general bonding to make broadband expansion grants available offered by the PSC, choosing not to spend general purpose revenue on the program. The motion passed 11-4.
Employee Trust Fund (ETF) & Compensation Reserves
Democrats on the committee offered Motion #113 would increase general salary for state and UW System employees by 2% on each January 1, 2023 and 2023. The motion adopted a pay progression system for nursing assistants and residential care technicians. Finally, the motion would provide ETF funding for IT upgrades and cybersecurity.
Republicans offered Motion #118 which adopted most proposals in the Democratic motion and added an hourly pay increase for select security positions in the correctional facilities. The proposal would increase pay by $5 an hour for adult institutions that have staff vacancies of 40%. Currently, only Waupun correctional meets this qualification.
Shared Revenue and Tax Relief & Department of Revenue (DOR)
Democrats offered Motion #116, which would increase county and municipal aid by 2% in both calendar years. The motion increased payments for municipal services and made changes to lottery administration. The Democrats motion included a K-12 schools general aid increase, with a per pupil revenue limit adjustment. The funding would increase school revenue by $120 million in 2021 and $290 million in 2022 while decreasing the school levy by $680 million in 2021 and $510 million in 2022 in property tax cuts. This provision would meet the federal MOE to receive federal K-12 funding.
The GOP members offered Motion #117 which did not increase aid to local governments. The motion had provisions to eliminate the personal property tax and it set aside $202 million in one time appropriation to backfill the tax revenue to local governments. The proposal hinges upon legislation passed through the legislature to eliminate the tax and the funds will also be withheld in the Joint Finance Supplemental Fund until further JFC action to release the funds.
General Fund Taxes, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), Stabilization Fund
Democrats on the committee offered omnibus Motion #119, the Governor’s budget requests for General Fund Taxes, WEDC and the budget stabilization fund. The motion included several new or expanded tax credits, including a Family Caregiver Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Expenses Tax Credit and a sales and use tax exemption for diapers. It also adopted several federal tax provisions from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The motion also included WEDC’s budget, with a one-time appropriation of $200 million to assist small business recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a $100 million venture capital program. Overall, the motion effectively reduced the tax burden on working families by over $300 million over the biennium. The motion failed 4-11.
The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #120. The motion reduced the tax rate for the third income tax bracket (individual or joint filers making between $24,000 and $263,000) from 6.27% to 5.30%, lowering revenues by just under $2.4 billion over the biennium. It also transferred $200 million in GPR to the budget stabilization fund, for a total of $2.1 billion in that fund to date. The motion passed 11-4.
Budget Wrap Up and 999 motion
The Republicans on the committee moved Motion #2001, incorporating final changes to the budget before adoption. The motion brought the budget into compliance with Maintenance of Effort standards required by federal coronavirus relief laws over the past year to guarantee the state will receive billions in federal funding for K-12 and higher education. Specifically, it increased general school aid base funding by $408 million over the biennium and provided a $72 million GPR increase for property tax relief aid for technical colleges. It also increased the annual allotment for the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship by $1.25 million to $9.25 million, matching the current level. The motion passed 11-4.
Finally, Republicans moved Motion #999, incorporating all action by JFC into substitute amendments for AB 68/SB 111 (the budget bill), and recommending the bills for passage as amended. The motion passed 11-4.