Wisconsin should not postpone a requirement to increase the minimum balance in the state’s general fund.
A significant portion of the federal funding intended for that assistance is being siphoned off for use elsewhere in the budget, to the detriment of the Wisconsin Works (W-2) program and the child care subsidies for low-income working families.
State aid to local governments is for the large part frozen in the proposed 2013-15 budget, with very modest increases proposed for a few forms of spending on local aid. This freeze comes after several years of steady decreases in state spending for local assistance.
The Governor’s Budget proposed significant reductions in the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program, with a cut of close to $16 million per year compared to the 2012-13 appropriation, a total reduction of $31 million over the biennium.
Governor Walker plans to partially close the current gap in BadgerCare by extending eligibility to all adults below the poverty level who don’t have children, while cutting in half the current income eligibility ceiling for parents and caretakers.
Wisconsin is expected to begin the 2013-15 budget period with a solid General Fund surplus, estimated to be about $420 million, but the Governor’s budget proposals would leave the state with a potential deficit of more than $600 million in the following biennium.
Governor Walker’s proposed budget includes a significant income tax cut and new resources for tax enforcement. The budget proposes several different ways of increasing revenue available for highways at the expense of other important programs, such as education and health care.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has proposed a two-year budget that freezes general funding for Wisconsin’s public schools, introduces new incentive payments for districts, expands resources for the state’s voucher and charter schools, and devotes significant money for evaluation in public schools.
For tax purposes, Wisconsin should treat profits form investments the same as income from work.
Wisconsin should devote additional resources to collecting unpaid taxes that are owed to the state.