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Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 relief, government funding

Congress reaches deal on COVID-19 relief, government funding

Congressional leaders have reportedly struck a deal on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package along with the 2020-21 budget and appropriations totaling $1.4 trillion and may be poised to pass the package today.

According to the National School Boards Association (NSBA), the legislation will include the following:

  • $54.3 billion dedicated to K-12 public schools
  • $4.05 billion for the Governor Emergency Relief Fund which includes a set-aside for private K-12 schools
  • $250 million for Head Start
  • $10 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program
  • $3.2 billion in emergency funds for low-income families to access broadband through “an FCC fund” (i.e., a new program and not through the E-Rate program)
  • $1 billion tribal broadband fund
  • $65 million to complete broadband maps pursuant to the Broadband DATA Act approved earlier this year
  • New $300 million grant program to fund broadband in rural areas

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Rep. Thiesfeldt returns as chair of Assembly education committee; Rep. Kitchens vice-chair

Rep. Thiesfeldt returns as chair of Assembly education committee; Rep. Kitchens vice-chair

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has announced the Assembly standing committees for the 2021-22 legislative session. For the Assembly Committee on Education, he has reappointed Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac) as chairman and Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) as vice-chairman. 

Rep. Thiesfeldt was first elected to the Assembly in 2010 and has been chair of the education committee since the 2015 session. He is a former teacher, administrator and coach in two Lutheran elementary schools and a Lutheran high school. Rep. Kitchens has been elected to the Assembly since 2014 and served on the Sturgeon Bay School Board from 2000-2014, including serving as board president for 13 years until he resigned from the board to run for the Assembly.

Speaker Vos names Assembly GOP budget committee members

Speaker Vos names Assembly GOP budget committee members

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) announced the rest of the Assembly GOP members of the Joint Committee on Finance. He had previously announced Rep. Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam) as the Assembly co-chair.  Rep. Terry Katsma (R-Oostburg) and Rep. Shannon Zimmerman (R-River Falls) return to serve another term on the committee. He also appointed two new JFC members: Rep. Tony Kurtz (R- Wonewoc) and Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek).

That fills out the full committee roster as follows: (more…)

Gov. Evers virtual budget listening session on education is Dec. 16 at 6PM

Gov. Evers virtual budget listening session on education is Dec. 16 at 6PM

As we posted previously, Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Barnes are holding four virtual listening sessions on various issue topics as they begin the 2021-23 state budget process. The listening session focusing on education is Wednesday evening (12/16): 

Budget Listening Session on Our Schools and Education
Wednesday, December 16 at 6 p.m.
 
 

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Rep. John Jagler announces run for state Senate seat being vacated by Fitzgerald

Rep. John Jagler announces run for state Senate seat being vacated by Fitzgerald

State Rep. John Jagler (R-Watertown) has formally announced his intention to run for the state Senate seat (13th Senate District) being vacated at the end of the year by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald who was elected to Congress. There will be a special election to fill the seat early in 2021. 

Rep. Jagler was elected to his fourth term in the assembly in November and has been a long-time member of the Assembly Education Committee.  From his press release:

“Jagler started in the Capitol in 2010 working as Communications Director for then Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald. In 2012, Jagler
ran and won his election for the 37th Assembly District. Previously, Jagler had a 20‐year broadcasting career and was host of “Wisconsin’s Morning News” on Milwaukee’s Newsradio 620 WTMJ, the top‐rated radio program in the state. Jagler currently is a realtor in the Watertown area, and his family owns an all‐natural dog treat company.”