Governor Walker signs the 2017-19 Budget into law, cementing a historic $11.5 billion investment in K-12 education while lowering property taxes.
(For more information on the 2017-19 Budget, see our Budget Fact Sheet.)
1. 2017-19 Budget Signed into Law
In front of an outstanding crowd of students and staff at Tullar Elementary School in Neenah, Governor Scott Walker signed the 2017 – 19 state budget into law on Thursday, September 21.
The budget lifts K-12 education aid to the highest appropriated levels in state history: $11.5 billion. In total, K-12 schools will receive a $636 million increase in general and categorical aids, which is the largest in a decade.
UW System in-state undergraduates will be protected from tuition increases for the sixth year in a row through a continued freeze for another two years. The freeze will have cumulatively saved the average student $6,311 over four years.
Additionally, need-based financial assistance will rise to the highest levels in state history.
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 21, 2017
The budget permanently eliminates the state portion on Wisconsin’s property tax bill. As Governor Walker promised, property taxes on a median-valued home will be lower in 2018 than 2010.
It also provides $86.9 million for local governments to repair roads, bridges, and potholes – the largest funding increase in 20 years.
To help transition people from government dependence to true independence, the budget also allocates more money to Wisconsin Fast Forward training grants, Fab Lab grants, and Windows to Work and other vocational training programs to provide hands-on experience.
It eliminates the benefits cliff for child care subsidies to remove barriers which are disincentives for working families to earn a raise or accept a promotion.
The budget seeks to require able-bodied adults in the state's main Medicaid program Badgercare, as well as able-bodied parents on food stamps with school aged children, to be working or receiving job training for 80 hours per month.
The administration is also seeking an expansion of drug-testing requirements for FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) participants.
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) September 22, 2017
All in all, we are working and winning for Wisconsin.
Not only are Wisconsin’s finances under control, but the budget maintains the state’s bonding at a reasonably low level. Total new bonding authorized in the last two budgets will be the lowest back-to-back in 20 years. Governor Walker’s administration is also paying off debt faster than it is authorizing new debt.
We are moving Wisconsin Forward.