MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) — Gov. Evers has signed the 2019-21 state biennial budget into law – with partial vetoes.
“While this budget makes critical investments in areas that were included in The People’s Budget, this is a down payment on the progress we must make in the next biennial budget,” said Gov. Evers. “Vetoing this budget would have meant passing up the opportunity to provide investments in special education, the largest general school aid increase in a decade, increased revenue to fix our roads, and critical investments in broadband expansion, Wisconsin shares, child welfare, rural hospitals, and transit, among other important priorities.
Gov. Evers went on to say that when he ran for office, he intended to create change.
Here are a number of parts of the budget now signed into law:
- Over $230 million will go towards supporting workers who provide care to citizens in Family Care, nursing homes, and individuals receiving personal care services
- Funding for the Rural Critical Care Hospital Supplement increased by $9.9 million
- $14.2 million will go toward lead testing and abatement to address childhood lead poisoning
- Programs for Wisconsin veterans will receive $30 million in state funding
- The private bar rate for the Office of the State Public Defender will increase from $40 per hour to $70 per hour to provide citizens prompt representation
- 60 new full-time assistant district attorneys will be added across the state
- Funding will be provided to help close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake schools as well as move youth into a less restrictive appropriate setting as soon as practical
- State support for school mental health programs will double under the budget
- Nearly $330 million to increase state general aid
- State special education categorical aid funding will increase by $95 million dollars from 2019-21.
- Through the veto process, increases per pupil state categorical aids by nearly $100 million over the biennium
- High cost transportation aid for rural districts will increase by $1.6 million to raise reimbursement rates to 90 percent of eligible costs
- State general aid for the Wisconsin Technical College System will increase by $25 million
- $1 billion will go towards bonding authority to modernize aging University of Wisconsin buildings and improve learning environments to help the attract and retain students, faculty, and researchers
- $45 million over the biennium will assist the UW System for capacity building initiatives while continuing to freeze resident undergraduate tuition to keep high education affordable and mitigate student debt
- The Broadband Expansion Grant program will receive $48 million from 2019-21 to reach underserved areas of the state
- To support the dairy industry, $8.8 million will go toward a Dairy Innovation Hub at the UW System
- Farmers will receive $750,000 annually to engage in best management practices under the producer led watershed protection grant program
- Further research on chronic wasting disease in Wisconsin will receive $100,000 in funding
- More than $465 million will go towards transportation projects across the state, making progress towards sustainable funding for transportation
- The State Highway Rehabilitation program will receive $320 million in additional funding
- A 10 percent, or $66 million over the biennium, increase in funding will be available for general transportation aids, paid to counties, towns, villages, and cities
- The budget will assist in finishing off the Zoo Interchange project
- $518 million will be provided in individual income tax relief in the form of income tax rate reductions targeting lower and middle income earners
- Approximately 92 percent of these income tax cuts for non-married filers will go to filers with adjusted gross income below $100,000 annually and 76 percent of tax cuts for married-joint filers will go to filers with adjusted gross income below $150,000
- Middle class single filers will see an income tax reduction of approximately $136 annually while middle class married joint filers will see a reduction of $182 annually when the tax rate reductions are fully implemented in tax year 2020
- The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program will be extended
- Work to address PFAS will receive $150,000 to develop a model to identify and prioritize sites with likely PFAS contamination and adding positions to the DNR
- Almost $80 million in state funds will fund 2 percent annual general wage adjustments for most state employees
- Nearly $36 million in state funds over 2019-21 to institute an hourly wage increase and pay progression for certain correction officers and youth counselor positions, effective January 1, 2020.
Gov. Evers’ full veto message can be found here.