Ryan Budget Would Harm Transportation, Education, and Housing in Wisconsin
The budget passed by the U.S. House of Representatives includes deep cuts in federal support for important services that state and local governments in Wisconsin provide. Under the proposed budget — sometimes referred to as the “Ryan budget,” after its author Rep. Paul Ryan — state and local governments in Wisconsin would have difficulty maintaining the services that contribute to a high standard of living in our communities.
The Ryan budget significantly reduces grants from the federal government to state and local governments – grants that support state and local initiatives in transportation, education, housing and community development, health and the environment, workforce development, and other important services. The chart below is taken from a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report on the Ryan budget, and shows how grants are distributed among service areas.
In 2014, Wisconsin is slated to receive $1.9 billion in federal support from discretionary grants for services provided by state and local governments. Under the Ryan budget, Wisconsin would lose 20% of the grants, or $377 million, resulting in far fewer resources to invest in important priorities such as clean water, improving teacher quality, and road and bridge repair. Over the period 2014 to 2023, the Ryan budget would reduce federal grants to state and local governments in Wisconsin by 18%, or $3.8 billion.
In addition to reducing discretionary grants by the federal government, the Ryan budget would shift costs to states by deeply cutting funding for Medicaid and restructuring how the federal government and state governments work together to provide access to health insurance for nearly 65 million low-income Americans.
The Ryan budget also proposes deep cuts in other programs important to state and local governments, including food stamps, Pell grants, school lunches and other child nutrition programs, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Supplemental Social Income for the aged and disabled poor.
After the Ryan budget was passed by the House of Representatives last week, it was defeated by the Senate, by a vote of 40 to 59. The Senate passed its own budget resolution, which takes a very different approach to federal spending and deficit reduction. Budget negotiations will continue after Congress returns from recess in early April.