• Investing In Our Schools
  • Transportation
  • Seniors

Investing In Our Schools

Last week the Senate and Assembly passed the 2021-2023 biennium budget with bi-partisan support. I believe the budget we presented the governor spends your money responsibly. Hopefully the governor does not use his veto pen to turn this budget into a vehicle to push big government Madison politics on the rest of the state.

The JFC crafted a budget that puts our state in a very good financial position going forward. It contains historic levels of funding for schools, set a workable budget for the DOT and provided security for our seniors. All this while repealing the personal property tax and giving a record income tax break!



Keep in mind our state is also receiving $2.2 billion in education aid from the federal government. Schools have been given a good deal of freedom in how they can choose to spend these funds.

Wisconsin students will not see a reduction in the quality of education they are accustom to. Our special needs students are being given an increase resources and a commitment by us to give them the best chance possible to succeed. 

Here is a list of some of the changes to categorical aids for special need students:

  • Special Education categorical aids increased by nearly 10% or $86 million to 30% of eligible costs – the highest dollar levels ever
  • Doubles mental health categorical aids – an additional $12 million.
  • $7 million for school-based mental health collaboration grants – 54% increase
  • Increase sparsity aid by $6.3 million and expands eligibility.
  • Invests roughly $13 million in High Cost Transportation Aid
  • Increases investments in Choice/Charter by $3.8 million

We have passed an education budget that will help our students prepare for their future. 


Funding Wisconsin roads has been one of the most contentious subjects over the last several budgets. We've had calls for massing borrowing to raising taxes, of which I was not a fan of. While some of these ideas may have helped in the short term, they would've done nothing to keep the state from repeating the cycle of reckless spending. This budget does show that we can provide for well maintained roads without increasing taxes while also reducing bonding levels to historic lows.

Highlights – Department of Transportation

  • $100 million for local roads
  • 2%/2% General Transportation Aid Increases
  • All projects remain on schedule with no tax or fee increases.
  • Investments in State Highway Program
  • Lowest bonding levels in decades - $223.6 million

Taking Care of Our Vulnerable Population.

The needs of our seniors and those dealing with mental health issues were not forgotten about. We increased funding for outpatient mental health, substance abuse services and child-adolescent day treatment reimbursements. $10 million has been set aside for Regional Crisis Response System Grants and will be released once stakeholders and the state design an effective plan to deliver the funds.

The opioid crisis continues to affect communities both large and small. Treating those addicted to these harmful substances and get them off their dependence is necessary to winning this battle. This is why we increased funding for Medication-Assisted Treatment by 5% for opioid treatment providers.

As our population ages, so does the need for a well funded SeniorCare program and care for those afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

We added 18 Dementia Care Specialists to be placed in the counties and tribes that do not currently have a specialist.

I'm please we maintained SeniorCare and increased the maximum amount of funding the DHS may provide under the Alzheimer's family caregiver support program.