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Wisconsin projected to take in an additional $4.4 billion, but could lose $2.3 billion for K-12 Education

Photo Credit: Laura Zimmerman via WPR

Wisconsin's Legislative Fiscal Bureau is projecting that, over the next three years, our state will take in $4.4 billion more than previously expected. Fiscal Bureau Director, Bob Lang, described the projection as "unprecedented".

The increase in revenue is attributed to an improved economy as the state emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.

In response to the new information, Governor Evers reversed cost cutting directives that he had issued to help maintain state functions during the pandemic.

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See the Fiscal Bureau Memo.

At the same time, actions taken by the Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance have jeopardized $2.3 billion dollars in federal coronavirus relief for K-12 schools.

Requirements in federal coronavirus relief legislation demand that the state maintain year-to-year education funding by spending $387 million more on education over two years to keep $2.3 billion in federal aid.

With this $4.4 billion dollar windfall, there is no reason that we cannot support our students, and move our state faster towards recovery.

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New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations hit lowest level since Spring 2020

Based on the data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, New COVID-19 Cases reached its lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic. On June 6, there were only 46 new cases throughout the state.

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 have also seen a similar trend. Total hospital admissions for COVID-19 were 170 as of June 8th with a low of 162 on June 6th according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association.

Bill would delay new maps for some 2022 local elections

Republicans recently held hearings on a bill that would delay the implementation of new district maps until 2023 or 2024, which could affect county and municipal elections. Some advocacy groups have argued that could invite lawsuits against the state.

The bill was introduced without an author, but rather by the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection, and in the Assembly by the Assembly Committee on State Affairs.

Supporters say the extensions are helpful to facilitate the adoption of the 2020 Census data which will be delivered late due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Opponents argue that the votes counted in districts that have grown in population since 2011 will not be granted equal representation which would lead to lawsuits.

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UW System preparing for return to pre-pandemic campus life in Fall

One of the highest priorities for the University of Wisconsin System is to prepare campuses for Fall programming and a return to pre-pandemic standards for students such as in-person classes, face-to-face experiences on campus, and regular access to residence halls, dining halls, athletics, concerts, and other social gatherings.

In order to achieve this goal, UW System President Thompson acknowledges that vaccination will be critical, stating: 

"While the UW System will not mandate that members of our campus communities be vaccinated, we will continue to mount an aggressive campaign to convince people that vaccination is the most effective tool we have to get to where we want to be."

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State Job Centers reopen in-person services

Consultations by appointment are available again at job centers throughout the state after over a year of closure due to COVID-19. 

They can help if you need assistance with resume writing, job applications, interview tips, registration, or navigating the Unemployment Insurance online system. They also offer workshops and career exploration tools.


(414) 250-6510

IRS will automatically correct tax returns for unemployment tax breaks

Recently, the IRS clarified that it will begin automatically correcting tax returns for unemployment beneficiaries in 2020 who qualified for an income tax break on up to $10,200 dollars of their benefits.

The tax break was signed into law in March, after millions of Americans had already filed their taxes. The IRS identified about 10 million individuals who had filed before the relief was available, which is a significant portion of the 23 million Americans who had filed for unemployment during 2020.

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States are also able to provide similar tax breaks for the state portion of resident's income tax, however, my bill to do just that was rejected by the Republicans in our state legislature. I had offered them 5 opportunities to match what Congress and the President have done, but they decided that only businesses deserved a tax break on COVID relief.

Recently, Republicans on the Joint Committee on Finance have also blocked all funding for upgrades to Wisconsin's Unemployment system, even after complaining about the difficulties that people have faced while filing for unemployment. 

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Youth programs during the Summer

Earn & Learn is a summer youth employment program aimed at preparing young people in the City of Milwaukee to enter the workforce through authentic work experience with local businesses, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations. Applications are still being accepted for the Community Work Experience component of Earn and Learn. Additional info can be found at

Beyond the Bell is a collaborative effort driven by service providers, funders, youth, policy makers and public institutions all committed to ensuring that youth have access to coordinated and quality programs and services. Visit for more info.

Milwaukee Recreation's mission is to enrich and strengthen the community by promoting healthy lifestyles, personal development, and fun through memorable recreational and educational experiences. A variety of summer programming options including sports, arts and more are available and additional info can be found at

City of Milwaukee to hold Independence Day fireworks July 5th

Although Milwaukee County had canceled its lakefront fireworks that were scheduled for July 3rd due to a shortage of volunteers and staff, the City of Milwaukee now plans to hold Independence Day fireworks and celebrations on the 5th.

County parks that will host fireworks include: Alcott, Gordon, Humboldt, Jackson, Lake, Lincoln, Mitchell, Noyes, Washington, and Wilson.

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How the AIDS Quilt allowed millions to memorialize the epidemic

In 1985 the AIDS Quilt was envisioned by activist Cleve Jones. It had 1,920 different panels each displaying the name of a person who had been lost to AIDS. 

In 1987 the Quilt was publicly displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and then went on a tour around the country. Over time the quilt has grown to more than 50,000 panels memorializing those who have lost their lives to this ongoing epidemic.

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