The Fix to GOP K-12 Budget Woes Rests in BadgerCare Expansion

Dem Motion to Expand BadgerCare Could Secure $2.3 Billion for Schools

MADISON – As the Joint Finance Committee heads into an executive session on the Department of Health Services budget, Democrats on the committee are working to secure federal funding for Wisconsin classrooms. As it currently stands, Wisconsin school districts are poised to lose out on a total of $2.3 billion in federal funds, as a result of Republicans underfunding the education budget so severely. A memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau revealed that by expanding BadgerCare, Wisconsin would no longer be at risk of losing that federal funding. Democratic members of the Joint Finance Committee released the following statement on the capacity to safeguard these critical funds:

“With one motion we will have the ability to solve the budget problem created by Republicans and ensure Wisconsin school districts get the funding they deserve. This is a historic opportunity for our state to seize these funds, expand health care coverage and fully invest in student success. Governor Evers and Legislative Democrats are working for a strong economic recovery for Wisconsin and this motion is a critical step towards reaching that goal. Families, schools, and small businesses depend on a responsible budget that invests in our priorities and that’s what our motion will do.”

Under the federal American Rescue Plan Act, if we expand BadgerCare, our state could receive an additional one billion dollar incentive – that’s one billion dollars on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars Wisconsin would already save. Wisconsin has already lost a separate $1.6 billion since 2013 because we haven’t expanded. If Republicans continue down this path, that is $3.2 billion out the window.