Letter from Rep. Petryk: Budget Bill ready for Assembly
The Budget Bill Ready for the Assembly
As I reported last week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has completed their work on the state budget bill, Assembly Bill 40. I have been reviewing this massive bill and wanted to provide more information on some important provisions contained within this all-inclusive budget bill. Though it is impossible for all of us to see eye-to-eye on every issue, it is important for me to keep my constituents as informed as possible on the budget.
The JFC Approved the following provisions within the budget according the topic:
Jobs and the Economy:
JFC approved $666 million in income tax cuts for Wisconsin citizens which is almost double from what the Governor originally proposed. Also, the budget bill holds the line on property tax increases at 1 percent or less on the average median valued house. Further, the budget bill will invest in our state’s infrastructure (roads and bridges), reform unemployment insurance, provide funding for a venture capital program to promote and support start-up businesses, and promotes and supports Wisconsin businesses through Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin.
Many constituents wrote in or spoke with me regarding funding for K-12 public education. After reaching out to JFC regarding this issue and formally requesting an increase, our concerns were addressed. Per pupil funding will be increased by $150 in the first year of the biennium and an additional $150 in the second year. Also, the School Choice program was expanded, but not nearly as far as the Governor had requested. The program will be increased to only 500 students in 2013-14 and 1,000 in 2014-15. The funding for this program will still be 60 percent less per pupil than the cost for an average student to attend public schools in Wisconsin. Also, no more than 1 percent of students in an expanded district can attend a choice school.
After the revelation that the University of Wisconsin (UW) System was holding billions of dollars in their coffers, it was determined by JFC that a two year tuition and fee freeze was necessary to protect our state’s students. Also, accountability measures for the UW System and the size of its reserves will be put in place.
The budget bill will expand the Medicaid entitlement to 98,800 childless adults while 88,500 adults with children will receive assistance through President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Furthermore, the budget bill decreases the number of uninsured and eliminates that waiting list for childless adults up to 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
The budget bill will provide a 4 percent increase for mass transit and general transportation aids (road aids) beginning in 2015 and also will provide an increase for the distribution and mileage aid rate for municipalities. Many constituents have asked me for my support for Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Programs (TAD). These programs will have an increase in the state’s budget. Also, the bill provides increased funding for broadband expansion, child support collection funding, and domestic abuse grants.
These are just some important highlights from the budget bill based on the contacts I have made with my constituents. By no means does this synopsis cover the entirety of the bill. I continue to review Assembly Bill 40, review the contacts from my constituents, and talk with my colleagues. Soon I will be given the opportunity to cast a single vote for this important legislation. Thank you all for your input!
Don't Forget to Complete my Spring Survey
To complete the survey online, you can visit my legislative website, http://petryk.assembly.wisconsin.gov.
Your thoughts and opinions on the topics in my spring survey are of the utmost importance to me. I appreciate you taking the time to help!
Upcoming Events in the 93rd Assembly District
Fall Creek Lions Fest
Ellsworth Cheese Curd Festival
Mondovi Friendship Days
July 20-21 and 24-28th
Pierce County Dairy Breakfast
June 22nd; 7-11:00 a.m.
LoRan Rolling Acres - Randy & Lori Larson
W1285 County Rd U
Plum City, WI 54761
Town and Country Dairy Breakfast
June 22nd; 7-11:30 a.m.
W1547 Badger Rd, Nelson, WI
Eau Galle Community Swimming Lessons
Sponsored by Eau Galle sportsman club
Durand Rod and Gun Club Chicken Dinners
July 11, 25
August 8, 22
September 5, 19
October 3, 17
Greater Insurance Service of Durand (715) 672-5921
Mondovi Insurance-Mondovi (715)926-3341