The Governor’s 2023-25 budget address was Wednesday evening, with documents released following the speech. The bill itself is 1,800 pages long, so all of us in Madison are continuing to pore through the proposal to find items that affect technical colleges. This update covers the major items and relevant links to reliable information.
Please plan to join me for a State Budget Zoom discussion next Friday, February 24th, from 12pm to 1pm if your schedule allows. We’ll talk about initial reactions to the proposal, answer questions, and discuss next steps:
Topic: Budget Breakdown
Time: Feb. 24, 2023 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM Central
Budget Breakdown Zoom Link - Feb. 24th (12:00 PM)
Dial-In audio only option:
Meeting ID: 890 2070 7407
Legislative Reference Bureau analysis of the budget bill
Administration’s budget summary
WTCS requested increases of $25 million in 2023-24 and $50 million in 2024-25 over base funding of $103.3 million in 2022-23 for general aid to technical colleges. The Governor proposed increases of $32.9 million in each year, for ongoing funding of $136.2 million. Aid is distributed 70% based on costs, enrollments, and property values, and 30% on outcomes based funding criteria. These resources are critically needed to ensure students complete their credentials and expand the skilled workforce.
WTCS requested increases of $1.5 million and $2.0 million over base funding of $4.0 million for WAT grants, which fund incumbent worker training requested by employers. The Governor proposed fully funding the request. Demand has outstripped funding in recent years as employers seek to upskill their current workforce. Grants are competitive, and over 90% of incumbent training provided by the colleges is funded directly by business.
WTCS requested $1.0 million and $2.0 million to develop more free of cost textbooks for students in technical programs. The Governor proposed $3.0 million on a one-time basis. Addressing textbook costs fights student debt and improves student success. See examples of OER.
WTCS requested $875,000 in each year to fund three vacant positions and invest in mission-critical cybersecurity and data analysis software. The Governor proposed fully funding this request.
WTCS requested $4.4 million in each year to expand access to need based aid, including for students enrolled at least 25% of full time. The Governor proposed 5% increases in each year, or $1.1 million in the first year and $2.3 million in the second. The same percentage increase was proposed to appropriations for UW and private college Wisconsin Grants.
The Governor proposed $2.0 million annually on an ongoing basis for grants to technical colleges to reimburse costs for dual enrollment credits earned by high school students related to health care. This item was proposed by lobbyists working on behalf of health care employers, and would be an exciting first step toward providing direct state support for tech college dual enrollment. Tech colleges educated 7,844 high schoolers in health care transcripted credit programs in 2021-22, forgoing nearly $2.0 million in tuition.
The Governor proposed $1.2 million in 2024-25 for a new grant program to universities and technical colleges to reimburse tuition for students enrolled in a meat processing program. Funding is provided through the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
The Governor proposed $250,000 annually on an ongoing basis for capital equipment, student learning infrastructure, IT, and support staffing for the Mid-State AMETA Center.
The Governor proposed $2.5 million on a one-time basis to support the creation of a regional EMS training facility in partnership with the city of Baraboo.
The Governor proposed permitting technical colleges to increase revenues derived from a combination of property tax levies and property tax relief aid by 2% or the change in net new construction, whichever is greater. A similar item was proposed in the prior executive budget as well but was removed by the Legislature.
The Governor proposed creating a nonresident tuition exemption for undocumented individuals at technical colleges and UW institutions. A similar item was proposed in the prior executive budget as well but was removed by the Legislature.
The Governor proposed allowing certain members of federally recognized American Indian tribes in Wisconsin and contiguous states to qualify for resident tuition at technical colleges and UW institutions. A similar item was proposed in the prior executive budget as well but was removed by the Legislature.
The Governor proposed modifying voter identification requirements to comply with current court decisions, and requiring UW and technical colleges to issue identification cards that meet those revised requirements.
The Governor proposed $202 million in 2024-25 be appropriated to compensate local taxing jurisdictions, including technical colleges, to offset the loss of property tax revenues resulting from the full repeal of the personal property tax. Funding is provided through the Department of Administration.
The Governor proposed $5 million annually to technical colleges and nursing schools to reduce barriers to graduation and assist students in becoming career ready. Funding is provided through the Department of Workforce Development.
The Governor proposed permitting state agencies and local units of government participating in the Wisconsin Retirement System to rehire a retired annuitant without requiring them to suspend their annuity, under certain circumstances.