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LFB: State’s budget surplus grows to $7.1 billion

One day after Gov. Evers in his State of the State Address proposed over $1 billion in new spending, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released a memo showing the state will end the current fiscal year with a projected $7.1 billion surplus, $524 million more than previous estimates. The LFB cited several factors that contributed to the $524 million difference, the most significant of which is the $775 million projected Medicaid (Medical Assistance) fund surplus due in large part to the continuation of enhanced federal matching funds enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. A second factor is a $202 million appropriation set aside by the Legislature to fund the repeal of the personal property tax. That money was never used because the proposal wasn’t signed into law.  Another factor is a $60.7 million increase in projected tax collections compared to the same earlier estimates. (more…)

Governor Evers’ State of the State speech highlights funding for mental health initiatives, schools

In his fifth State of the State address as governor, Gov. Tony Evers outlined proposals to spend nearly $1.3 billion on mental health initiatives, addressing PFAS and bolstering the state’s workforce, among other things. Evers also called for a big boost in state aid to local governments and schools. In his speech, Evers noted the record state budget surplus as well as the record balance in the state’s Budget Stabilization (a/k/a “Rainy Day”) Fund.

Previewing the two-year state budget proposal he will unveil on Feb.15, Evers used his annual State of the State address to tout a proposal to make the “Get Kids Ahead” a permanent state program by investing more than $270 million to ensure every student has access to mental health services.

Details of Evers’ plan were released along with the speech and call for providing:


Legislative Update session materials from Convention available

Thank you to all who attended the 2023 Education Convention in Milwaukee. Thank you to those who attended our Legislative Update session Friday morning. At this session we provided an overview of the dynamics in play for the 2023-24 Legislative Session and 2023-25 state budget timeline.

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation is available here.

We also handed out a few copies of our Legislative Advocacy Toolkit, which is also available online here.

New LFB memo includes estimates of inflationary increases for schools

A new memo from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) shows what revenue limit adjustments would have been if automatic inflationary increases (tied to CPI indexing) that were a feature of Wisconsin school funding from 1995-96 through 2008-09 were still in place and compares those to the actual increases provided by the state.

If you attended a WASB Regional Meeting or Advocacy Workshop, we showed you a chart illustrating the differences.

The new LFB memo also includes estimates of what inflationary increases per pupil would be for 2023-24 and 2024-25, the fiscal/school years covered by the upcoming 2023-25 state budget:

According to the memo, “Based on the January, 2023, projections of quarterly inflation by S&P Global, it is estimated that the per pupil adjustments would be $392.79 in 2023-24 and $403.00 in 2024-25.”

See the full memo.


Gov. Evers announces more budget listening sessions

From the Governor’s office release: “Gov. Tony Evers today announced upcoming locations and dates to continue his statewide ‘Doing the Right Thing’ listening session tour, including another virtual listening session, as well as visits to Wausau, Superior, and Eau Claire. 

“All participants should register to attend at the links below. Wisconsinites are also welcome to submit written comments on any topic at any time before or after the listening sessions here.” (more…)