2017-19 State Budget

General State Budget Information

Wisconsin has a biennial budget, which means that the state budget includes information about how money will be spent for a two-year period, from July of an odd numbered year through June of the next odd-numbered year. The upcoming budget period runs from July 2017 through June 2019, and is sometimes referred to as the 2017-19 budget.

Governor Walker is expected to release his version of the budget sometime in February 2017. In the next step, the legislature’s budget committee, called the Joint Committee on Finance, reviews the budget and holds hearings. The budget committee usually approves a modified version of the budget in May, after which the budget needs to be approved by both houses of the legislature. Governor Walker is expected to sign the final version of the budget and make small vetoes in June, and the new budget will take effect on July 1 if the process runs in a timely fashion.

These resources include general information about the state budget process:

  • Wisconsin Budget Toolkit, which has information about how the state gets and spends revenue, and how the budget process works.
  • Wisconsin Budget 101, a recorded webinar that includes basic information about the state budget and the budget process.
  • Wispolitics.com Budget Blog, which includes up-to-date information about what’s happening in the state budget process.

A Wisconsin Budget for All

For too long, we’ve all been told that there’s not enough money in the budget to help our communities thrive. That is not true. Actually, there is enough. Making a budget is about making choices. Lawmakers can choose to help private special interests that rig the system, or lawmakers can choose to promote the common good.

Simply cleaning up the tax code by closing two loopholes that the well-connected have created for themselves can restore nearly $900 million to the budget to invest in crucial priorities that your community so desperately needs. After all, that should be what taxes are for. They’re not supposed to be for feathering the nests of those who manipulate the system. They’re supposed to be our joint investments for improving our lives and for bolstering the vitality of all of our communities across Wisconsin.

There are three core areas — work, education, and health — where this restored funding would make a huge difference for hard-working Wisconsin families like yours and for the life of your community.

Find out more about how we can push for a budget that will help all our communities thrive, and watch the Wisconsin Budget for All Facebook page or website for more information.

Wisconsin Budget Project Publications about the 2017-19 Budget

  • A Summary of the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Higher Education (March 2, 2017). Governor Walker’s budget proposes freezing tuition at the state’s technical college system and cutting tuition for the University of Wisconsin System. He recommends slightly increasing state support to partly pay for the tuition freeze and cut. He also proposes a modest increase in state support for the UW System, distributing the funding based on how individual campuses perform on a specified set of outcome measures.
  • A Summary of the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Health Care (March 1, 2017). Governor Walker’s budget proposal includes many new requirements for participation in public assistance programs. However, relative to his previous budgets, the health care portion of the latest budget bill proposes relatively modest changes in health care funding and policy.
  • A Summary of the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Taxes and Revenue (February 23, 2017). Governor Walker’s budget proposal continues his focus on cutting taxes. His proposal includes more than $500 million in income, property, and sales tax cuts over the two-year period that starts in July 2017. His budget also includes some tax increases: most notably, an increase in the amount of property taxes that some individuals with low incomes would pay.
  • A Summary of the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Early Care and Education (February 21, 2017). The Governor’s budget proposes a significant increase in funding for the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program, relative to current spending levels, especially in the second fiscal year of the 2017-19 two year budget. Nevertheless, the proposed appropriations would be far below the amounts expended in past years, before the state made policy changes that have significantly reduced the reimbursement rates and the number of families and providers participating in the subsidy program.
  • A Summary of the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Education (February 14, 2017). Governor Walker has proposed an education budget that significantly increases resources for Wisconsin K-12 schools, with most of the increase delivered in a way that would move the state away from its commitment to providing more assistance to districts with less capacity to boost local property tax support for schools.
  • The State of the State Budget: Budget and Economic Trends Point to Continuing Challenges (January 17, 2017). Most signs suggest that state lawmakers will once again be grappling with a substantial gap between projected revenue and the funding needed to adequately cover proposals in areas like education, health care, local aid and infrastructure investments.

Wisconsin Budget Project Blog Posts about the 2017-19 Budget