Letter from Rep. Petryk: Budget Bill passes the Assembly
On Wednesday, June 19th, the state Assembly concluded its work on our state’s new biennial budget by passing the legislation with little opposition from the Democrats. Also, today, at 12:01 a.m., the state Senate passed the budget after debating 53 amendments (all of which failed) and now the bill moves onto the Governor for his possible vetoes and signature. In an unprecedented turn of events, the Assembly Democrats decided not to introduce any of their supposedly more than 200 amendments but instead asked for a vote after very little debate on the floor. They have repeatedly voiced their displeasure on aspects of this budget yet refused to debate these issues on behalf of their constituents. Perhaps the Democrats abandoned their amendments as they most likely would have dramatically increased spending in our state.
No budget bill is ever 100 percent perfect. Unfortunately, this nearly 1,500 page piece of legislation contains some items that I do not agree with and a debate on these issues would have been welcomed. However, I had thoughtfully weighed the good and the bad and determined that the positive aspects of this budget far outweigh the negative. As many of you know, I requested changes in the budget including increasing funding for public education from a $0 increase to a $150 per pupil increase per year. Overall, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said that of the General Purpose Revenue spending in each year of the biennium, 39 percent of the total budget goes to K-12 funding.
It also pleased me to advocate for other issues that will have a positive impact on our rural 93rd district including broadband expansion, the removal of the land ownership by nonresident alien’s provision, an increase in funds for domestic abuse prevention, an increase in the mileage aid rate level for local transportation funding, and an increase for county land conservation departments.
Though we all may not see eye to eye on this budget bill, there are many excellent provisions contained in this most important piece of legislation for the 2013-14 session. The most key component of this budget bill is that it contains one of the state’s largest tax cuts in our history. Income taxes as a result of this budget will be reduced by more than $650 million, all tax cuts contained in this budget equal roughly $1 billion, and the budget bill holds the line on property taxes with our non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reporting that the budget will increase property taxes by an average of only 0.99 percent in 2014 and 0.98 percent in 2015.
This budget bill also provides health care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens. It will expand the Medicaid entitlement to 98,800 childless adults while 88,500 adults with children will receive assistance and subsidies for premiums through President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, the budget bill decreases the number of uninsured and eliminates the waiting list for childless adults up to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
Again, no budget is perfect but this one is far better than most of the state’s budgets that we have seen in recent years. I have heard from many constituents on both sides of this issue and I weighed all of your comments before casting my vote on this very important piece of legislation. I truly believe that this budget bill will continue our efforts to move Wisconsin forward with fiscal restraint, smaller government, and re-investment in our public schools and Wisconsin’s infrastructure. It increases aid and options to parents for educating our children, reduces borrowing, and reduces the tax burden on you, our taxpaying citizens.
Upcoming Events in the 93rd Assembly District
Ellsworth 12th Annual Cheese Curd Festival June 28-30 East End Park
Mondovi Friendship Days June 29th Mondovi Fair Grounds
River Falls Days July 11-14th Various Locations
38th Annual Ellsworth Polka Fest July 12-14th Two Wooden Dance Floors
4th of July Celebrations
Eau Claire 10:00 p.m. Viewing Areas: Carson Park, Pheonix Park, Half Moon Lake, and Lakeview Cemetery
Mondovi Start time is at dusk
Maiden Rock Fireworks at dusk on Lake Pepin
Spring Valley Next to the dam north end of McKay
Ellsworth On the Living Waters Church grounds
Pepin July 19-21st Arkansaw Fair Grounds
Eau Claire July 20th - Horse & Pony Show
July 21st - Dog Show
July 24-28th - Fair
Eau Claire County Exposition Center
Dunn July 24-28th Fair Grounds, Menomonie
Buffalo August 1-4th Fair Grounds, Mondovi
Pierce August 8-11th Fair Grounds, Ellsworth
Eau Galle Community Swimming Lessons June 24-28
7152834336 Sponsored by Eau Galle sportsman club
Past in the Park Mondovi Area Historical Society
June 30th 11-4:00 p.m. Tourist Park
Durand Rod and Gun Club Chicken Dinners June 27 July 11, 25
August 8, 22
September 5, 19
October 3, 17
Representative Petryk Webpage
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Mailing Address: Representative Warren Petryk, 306 North, State Capitol, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708