Legislative Update for Wisconsin Technical Colleges

February 5, 2020


February Legislative Update

The Assembly and Senate are each tentatively planning two more floor session days this spring, with one additional “clean up” day possible, along with a possible veto override day. Floor periods typically finish early in even-numbered years, leaving additional time to campaign leading into the fall elections.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released its January revenue re-esimates January 23rd, announcing that state tax collections are expected to exceed prior estimates by $818 million. Under current law, half that amount must be deposited in the state’s budget stabilization or “rainy day” fund. Other changes to non-tax receipts and net appropriations meant a positive change to the estimated ending balance of $451.9 million by June 30, 2021. Including the previously budgeted ending balance, a total of $620.2 million is projected to be the closing net general fund balance.

In response to the news, the majority caucuses in each house huddled to determine how to expend the larger-than-expected balance. A number of options for tax reductions are being considered, along with a handful of relatively small increases in expenditures for oversubscribed state programs. In particular, there are calls for additional funding aimed at supporting the state’s beleaguered dairy industry.

In other news, Governor Evers visited Waukesha County Technical College to announce the creation of his Student Debt Task Force, aimed at strategies to contain education-related debt, even as student debt amongst Wisconsin residents climbed to an estimated $24 billion. System President Morna Foy or her designee will sit on the task force, along with the UW System President, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and several cabinet secretaries.

Updates on the progress of bills of interest to technical colleges can be found below.

Free Speech Veterans Apprenticeship Transfer Health Programs

Additional bills of interest to technical colleges:

For more information on these efforts, please contact Layla Merrifield.