Gov. Walker’s 2013-15 budget bill was introduced to a joint session of the Assembly and Senate on February 20th. Walker’s budget, which focuses on growing the economy, developing the workforce, transforming education, reforming government, and investing in infrastructure, proposes an operating budget of $33.652 billion in FY2013-14 and $34.347 billion in FY2014-15.
Walker has outlined five priorities for the 2013-15 Biennial Budget: growing the economy, developing the workforce, transforming education, reforming government, and investing in infrastructure.
Growing our Economy: Creating jobs is about helping improve the lives of families all across our great state. Every new job is more than a statistic. It is another family with someone working in their household, which means fewer worries about how to put meals on the table, make a mortgage payment, or put clothes on the backs of their kids.
The Governor proposes the largest reduction in income taxes since the 1999-2001 biennium, totaling $343 million over the biennium. By focusing on reducing middle class rates and by combining it with the Manufacturing and Agricultural Credit passed in Act 32, Wisconsin will become a more attractive place for all people to live or start a business. It is important to note that this is true tax reform and not a tax shift as there are no other broad-based tax or fee increases in the budget. The tough, but prudent, decisions of the last two years were not easy, but those tough decisions did create a surplus. Wisconsin citizens should see the benefit of these tough decisions, as we work to continue to lower the overall tax burden in years to come.
The Governor’s budget also provides for $75 million in additional economic development tax credits and repeals the lifetime cap on angel investment tax credits to provide catalytic vitality to business creation. It also includes $25 million to create a capital investment program which can help start-up businesses get off the ground.
As part of the Transform Milwaukee initiative, the Governor proposes providing $2.5 million to the Wisconsin Development Reserve Fund to leverage over $11 million in loan guarantees. In addition, over $11 million will be invested in a transitional jobs program focused in Milwaukee. Tourism and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation funding are also increased under the Governor’s budget.
- Reduce individual income taxes by $343 million over the biennium by cutting middle class tax rates.
- Provide $75 million in additional credits for the economic development tax credit program.
- Repeal the $47.5 million lifetime cap on the angel investment tax credit program.
- Modify state law with regards to tax credit programs:
- Provide an exemption to the definition of “full-time job” to allow qualifying positions working fewer than 2,080 hours annually to be eligible for tax benefits.
- Clarify eligibility requirements for job creation benefits under the Jobs Tax Credit Program.
- Modify the Jobs Tax Credit Program tax benefits calculations.
- Simplify the Jobs and Enterprise Zone Tax Credit.
- Modify the capital investment requirements for the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program to expand eligibility.
- Expand eligibility for the Enterprise Zone Tax Credit Program to manufacturers.
- Provide $25 million GPR in fiscal year 2013-14 for capital investment program overseen by DOA.
- Continue the disabled veterans’ employment tax credit for employers.
- Provide $5.8 million in FY 2013-14 and $11.2 million in FY2014-15 to WEDC for seed accelerator and capital catalyst programs and marketing.
- $200,000 GPR annually for dairy processor grant program.
- Provide $2.5 million to the Wisconsin Development reserve Fund to leverage $11.25 million for loan guarantees through WHEDA for Transform Milwaukee Initiative.
- Increase tourism marketing.
- Expand the sales and use tax exemption for property used in qualified research and development activities.
- Provide support for businesses with regard to small business environmental assistance program.
- Increase compliance and monitoring of the sand mine industry by converting $223,400 each year in federal funding and 2.0 FTE positions to the Environmental Fund.
- Providing a grant to the VETransfer organization to support veteran entrepreneur training and state-up seed funding. Providing GPR for the Veterans in Piping program, transfer the state’s Disabled Veterans Outreach Program and Local Veterans Representative employment specialists from DWD to DVA.
- Create a property tax exemption for biogas energy generation systems.
- Provide program authority to DOA’s Division of Housing to distribute community development block grants.
- Exempt from sales tax and use tax the sales of personal property and taxable property services sold by a contractor as part of a lump sum contract, as long as the total sales are less than 10% of the total amount of the lump sum contract.
Developing our Workforce: The Governor’s goal is to help our state and our workers become among the most prosperous and innovative in the country.
The Governor’s workforce development plan is a multifaceted approach providing flexible solutions from up-to-date labor market information to getting able-bodied adults receiving FoodShare benefits the employment training they need to provide for themselves. The plan is designed to help prospective workers get the skills necessary for jobs available across the state today, moving people from dependence to independence.
We will make smart, targeted, performance-based investments in our University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System and traditional K-12 education to ensure our citizens have the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Beyond just traditional educational investments, the Governor’s proposal provides worker training grants in areas of immediate need, including training for health care-related jobs in rural and high poverty areas. The workforce development package provides a hand up to those who are able to work – not simply a handout.
- Providing targeted investments of $100 million in new state funds for worker training and development. Includes three parts 1.) separate legislation to develop a labor market information system and provide for worker training; 2.) budget investments and reforms; 3.) support a capital budget request to expand the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Community Medical Education Program.
- Tying increasing portions of state funding to Wisconsin Technical Colleges to: placement of students in jobs related to their field of study; degrees and certificates awarded in high-demand fields; programs with industry-approved curriculum; transitioning adult students from basic education to skills training; expansion of dual enrollment opportunities; and provision of customized training to businesses.
- Fund start-up and expansion costs for the new Flexible Option program.
- Provide the UW System with $20 million over the biennium for performance-based economic development, workforce development and affordability grants.
- Increase the number of required work searches to receive the unemployment insurance benefits.
- Provide GPR funding for apprenticeship and veterans piping program.
- Providing funding to increase the number of primary care physicians and dentists that graduate in Wisconsin. Increase opportunities for medical students and graduates to train in rural and underserved areas of Wisconsin.
- Increase worker training and job assistance to adult recipients for FoodShare and enforce federal benefit limits for able-bodied, working-age adults.
- Provide funding for new performance-based W-2 contracts beginning on January 1, 2013.
- Create a more flexible Trail Employment Match Program (TEMP) to replace trial jobs. Includes a longer placement and a higher wage subsidy and the possibility to cover other employer costs.
- Expand the new TEMP job placement program to noncustodial parents.
- Create a Transform Milwaukee jobs initiative, similar to Transitional Jobs Demonstration Project. Funded with $11 million over the biennium.
Transforming Education: Every child – regardless of their zip code – should have access to a great education. It is a moral imperative. Providing our children with a quality education will equip them with the necessary skills to thrive later in life.
Educational efforts must be focused on performance. During the past year, the Governor joined with the Department of Public Instruction to put together a diverse group of stakeholders from around Wisconsin – teachers, parents, school board members, taxpayers, business leaders and others – to talk about school and school district accountability. After a lengthy process, the first report card evaluating each school in the state was released during the 2012-13 school year.
The Governor’s budget continues to transform education by providing incentives for public schools, technical colleges and the University of Wisconsin System to reach for excellence by providing substantial new funding to support quality outcomes for students. Through these measures, taxpayers will get value for their tax dollars used to prepare Wisconsin’s workforce. These incentives, when aligned with a number of new opportunities for parents, will help drive a competition for the best educational opportunities for students.
Excellent and improving schools should be rewarded and replicated. At the same time, we have an obligation to help our underperforming schools fundamentally change their structure and dramatically improve their results. Our goal is to help each school excel so every child in the state has access to a great education.
Additional investments in technology and professional development to support and evaluate the continued growth of our state’s valued educators will ensure a focus on student outcomes and foster a culture of success in our schools.
- Provide $475.6 million in new state funds for public education. $276.5 million in new funds for K-12 education, including $129.2 million in total increased equalization aid with $42.9 million in FY 2013-14 and $86.3 million in FY 2014-15. Keep school district revenue limits flat.
- Create a $54 million performance-based funding program for schools with excellence and improvement, based on school report cards.
- Provide $10 million in grants for plans to transform underperforming schools and improve student outcomes.
- Provide funding for the ACT suite for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades.
- Expand the early reading screening program to include four-year-old kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.
- Implementing the new educator effectiveness system. Fund resources for teachers to collaborate, track progress, and innovate technology-based teaching methods. Funding the expansion of the Teach for America program.
- Expand parental choice to districts with at least two low-performing schools, 4,000 students, and 20 students applying to the program. Cap the statewide pupil participation during the biennium. Increase the per pupil payment to private schools for choice participants with a greater increase for high school students.
- Create a Charter School Oversight Board.
- Create a Special Needs Scholarship Program.
- Expand part-time open enrollment program to create a new Course Options program. Eliminate grade and residency restrictions on homeschooled pupils to take courses in a school district.
- Fund a statewide academic and career planning system. School districts will be required to provide academic and career planning services beginning in 8th grade by 2017-18 school year.
- Consolidate all GPR-funded categorical aid and grant programs in the second year of the biennium. Permit colleges to use the funding to achieve performance measures.
- Require state public institutions of higher education to collaborate and implement a core credit transfer policy to include at least 30 credits.
- Fully funding the Wisconsin Covenant Scholars Program.
- Revise eligibility standards for the Wisconsin G.I. bill to allow veterans who move to Wisconsin to establish residency to claim benefits after five years, and eliminate arbitrary time limit for spouses of veterans who are disabled or killed in the line of duty. Expand the VetEd program to provide tuition reimbursement to veterans who are tribal members attending tribal colleges.
- Continue implementation of a “block grant” funding structure to the at the University of Wisconsin by removing the system from the standard state process for approving compensation plans and state compensation reserve calculations.
- Index college tuition tax deduction for inflation.
Reforming Government: The Governor believes in moderation when it comes to government spending. Money left in the hands of families is spent more wisely than the government spending it for them. When government grows large, it often becomes wasteful and inefficient. Keeping more money in the hands of families and achieving a more efficient government are vital steps toward achieving the goals of a higher standard of living for our state residents and greater overall economic growth.
From additional fraud identification and prevention initiatives to proposals geared toward containing health care costs for state employees to asset sales and investments in information technology, this budget contains a variety of efforts aimed at reducing state government spending.
The budget reforms are not limited to state government. The Governor’s policies resulted in the first consecutive reductions in property tax bills for the typical homeowner in 15 years in 2011 and 2012. This budget will continue this restraint in order to keep property tax bill increases for the median value home below 1 percent in each year by limiting municipal, county and technical college district levies to the growth in property value resulting from new construction as well as holding the line on school district expenditures.
The Governor’s budget also takes a significant step towards reforming government entitlement programs by restoring these programs to their original intent – a safety net for our neediest citizens.
- Retain current school district revenue limits; increase equalization aid by 1% in each year.
- Maintain county and municipal levy limits as the percentage change in equalized value due to net new construction or 0% if there was a net construction loss. Extend supermajority vote requirements to utilize prior year carryover capacity.
- Limit year-over-year increases in technical college district levies to the greater of 0% or the percentage change in equalized value due to net new construction. Implement a supermajority vote requirement to utilize previous year carryover capacity for technical college district levies.
- Provide $29.7 million GPR over the biennium for the School Levy Tax Credit. Reallocate an equal amount of lottery proceeds to the Lottery and Gaming Property Tax Credit.
- Maintain current shared revenue programs for counties and municipalities.
- Repeal county and technical college operating mill rate limits to create greater uniformity in property tax controls across units of government. Counties, municipalities and technical college districts will all be governed by the same basic property tax controls.
- Expenditure Restraint Program enhancements. Put contracting between municipalities on an equal footing with merged services.
- Prohibit local units of government, except as required under state law, from instituting or enforcing residency requirements on current or prospective employees.
- Transfer administration of the capital gains exclusion and capital gains deferral program from WEDC to DOR. Consolidate the long-term capital gains deferral related to qualified Wisconsin businesses into a single deferral.
- Expand the sales and use tax exemption for the sale of advertising and promotional direct mail to include services resulting in advertising and promotional direct mail.
- Modify sales tax provision to clarify and simplify sales tax administration. Update sales tax provision to maintain and improve compliance with the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement.
- Modify current law to improve sales and use tax administration by:
- Clarify tax treatment of personal property
- Updating definitions
- Increasing the statutory thresholds for annual and quarterly sales tax filing
- Allowing sales tax filers to file amended tax returns or claim deductions on subsequent returns
- Update Wisconsin’s tax code to increase consistency with the federal Internal Revenue Code, including provisions related to the Affordable Care Act, American Taxpayer Relief Act and other legislation. Net effect in to increase tax collections by $15.5 million in FY2013-14 and $18.2 million in FY2014-15.
- Provide 33.0 FTE positions and $3.6 million to DOR over the biennium to expand tax enforcement related to income adjustments on federal audit reports. Projected increased collections by $7 million in FY2013-14 and $28.8 million in FY2014-15.
- Provide 15.0 FTE positions and $1.6 million to DOR over the biennium to increase intensive collection efforts. Projected improved collections by $18.9 million over the biennium.
- Provide 13.0 FTE positions and $7.4 million to DOR over the biennium to increase fraud prevention efforts. Projected to eliminate $34 million in tax fraud over the biennium.
- Adopt federal standards regarding claims of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Homestead Tax Credit, disallowing claims for two year in reckless claims and ten years in fraud claims.
- Create a provision allowing taxpayers to rely on past audit determinations to avoid liabilities on current audits relating to tax reporting.
- Modify current law to create DOR efficiencies and improve DOR debt collection efforts.
- Improve efficiencies and oversight of Lottery operations by expanding resources for lottery security and accountability and permitting lump sum payments of awards to surviving annuitants.
- Create an Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Corrections.
- Create permanent positions to replace expiring child care fraud positions.
- Provide 4.0 FTE legal positions to prevent and prosecute child care fraud, support Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare legal activities, and conduct rehabilitation reviews for child care and child protective services.
- Modify current law to clarify DCF may require Wisconsin Shares child care providers to be fingerprinted. Expand requirements to adults who reside in the home and the child care program employees of Wisconsin Shares child care providers.
- Invest in information technology to improve efficiency and transparency.
- Create an electronic benefit card, initially to be used for W-2 programs and then expanded to child care subsidies.
- Modify the child care subsidy system to provide the subsidy directly to parents using the electronic benefit card.
- Provide 6.0 FTE positions to replace information technology contractors in DCF program areas.
- Provide expenditure authority and 5.0 FTE project positions to update the child support document generation module to improve information delivery for counties.
- Streamline reporting requirements for DFI by shifting to on-line notifications for the administrative dissolution of business entities.
- Modify the sale of state-owned real property provisions:
- Allow the Building Commission or DOA, with exceptions including prisons, parks and lands owned by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and with approval by the Building Commission, to offer for sale or lease any state-owned real property unless prohibited by the State Constitution, federal law or other specific statutes;
- Direct net proceeds from a sale first to pay off any outstanding debt related to the property, then to refund general obligation or revenue bonds;
- Allow the department to attach conditions to a sale or contract that are in the nest interest of the state;
- Allow a co-owning nonstate entity right of first refusal to purchase the property;
- Allow the DOA Secretary to adjust positions and operating budget of affected agencies.
- Agencies will be required to submit an inventory of all real properties to DOA.
- Provide additional flexibility and staffing for the state building program at DOA to improve services to customers by identifying issues at project sites earlier.
- Consolidate facility designer positions at DOA to support increased workload as agencies evaluate space use to reduce operating costs.
- Designate simple prime contracting as the default project delivery method for certain state building projects, beginning January 1, 2014.
- Modify the formula used to allocate utility public benefit funds for Wisconsin’s Home Energy Assistance and Weatherization Assistance Programs.
- Increase expenditure authority at ETF to fund the modernization and technology integration project.
- Increase the required break in service after retirement from 30 to 75 days for new rehires. Require new rehires who are working more than two-thirds of full time to stop annuity payments, rejoin WRS and earn additional years of service.
- Promote a wellness program for state employees.
- Implement a $50 per month tobacco user charge on state employees.
- Require that the Group Insurance Board offer a health care coverage option that consists of a high-deductible health plan coupled with a health savings account.
- Restructure federal grant administration for criminal justice and homeland security programs. Eliminate the Office of Justice Assistance and move grant administration responsibilities, Wisconsin Justice Information Sharing and crime reporting to DOJ and Military Affairs.
- Transfer regulation of professional employer organizations, professional employer groups, charitable organizations, professional fundraisers and fundraising councils from DSPS to DFI.
- Transfer the Tank and Petroleum Testing program from DSPS to DATCP.
- Transfer soil erosion control regulations for commercial sites from DSPS to DNR.
- Transfer low-risk and medium-risk site responsibility for petroleum spill site from DSPS to DNR.
- Transfer the Educational Approval Board to DSPS.
- Establish a Solicitor General’s Office to allow DOJ to provide a more in-depth level of specialized representation of WI at the state and federal appellate levels.
- Eliminate the composite parts and depositing all revenues to the victim and witness reimbursement program. The surcharge must be imposed on all counts of an offense and may not be waived by a judge.
- Authorize DOA’s Division of Hearing and Appeals, beginning January 1, 2015, to conduct appeals of a determination that a person has abused or neglected a child.
- Modify children and family services funding to the tribes. Allow the separate Tribal High Cost Fund to be used for subsidized guardianship placements.
- Authorize DCF to implement a child support interest rate reduction pilot program to increase collections.
- Restructure funding and position authority at Employment Relations Commission due to decreased workload.
- Revise state statutes related to rental-purchase agreements.
Investing in our Infrastructure: A 21st Century economy, especially a manufacturing-based economy like Wisconsin’s, needs to get products to market.
The Governor’s budget maintains the investment and schedule to rebuild the Zoo Interchange, the Hoan Bridge and the I-94 North-South corridor. The Governor continues to repay the 2005 through 2009 raids on the State’s transportation fund and allocates more general fund revenue for transportation uses. This budget also recommends an increase in state highway development, rehabilitation and maintenance funding.
- Invest $6.4 billion in Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure.
- Provide an additional $23 million in general fund support by repaying transfers from the Transportation Fund made between 2005-2009.
- Fund transit operating aids from the general fund beginning in 2014-15.
- Provide $550 million in funding for on-time construction of the Zoo interchange.
- Provide $236 million for the Hoan Bridge and $10.7 million in the state’s harbor system.
- Provide $80.8 million above base amounts for state highway rehabilitation.
- Increase funding for routine maintenance agreements with counties by $55 million over the biennium.
- Realign federal funding under MAP-21 to consolidate Transportation Enhancement Activities, Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities, and Safe Routes to School federal appropriations.
- Rename and broaden the definition of existing Flood Damage aids.
- Provide $1.8 million for state transportation facilities maintenance and an upgrade of local aids distribution system.
- Provide $4 million for dam repair, reconstruction, and removal projects.
- Appropriate $4.7 million unallocated balance of the Universal Service Fund for a broadband grant program to increase broadband access and capacity, and expand high speed internet services access.
In addition to the top five priority areas outlined above, the Governor’s budget places an emphasis on:
Improving Mental Health Programs
- Provide nearly $30 million GPR to expand state-funded services to adults and children diagnosed with mental illness.
- Expand intensive, targeted community-based care provided by the Comprehensive Community Services program statewide.
- Establish an Office of Children’s Mental Health.
- Expand coordinated wraparound systems of care provided by Coordinated Services Teams statewide for children with behavioral health issues, and their families, involved in multiple systems of care.
- Develop Peer-Run Respite Centers.
- Fund in-home counseling services under the Medicaid program to increase access to treatment, allow for earlier interventions and improve outcomes.
- Expand the capacity of the state forensic treatment units.
- Improve mental health treatment in Green Bay, Columbia and Waupun correctional institutions.
Helping Victims of Domestic Violence
- Support the approval of an $11 million capital budget request:
- Invest $10.6 million in state bond funds to partner with Children’s Hospital and the Sojourner Family Peace Center on the Family Justice Center project in Milwaukee,
- Fund $560,000 in state bonding to the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services Center in Madison.
- Authorizing judges to place the most dangerous abusers on GPS tracking after petition for a restraining order. Provide $1 million GPR in FY2013-14 and $2 million GPR in FY2014-15 for local government and law enforcement to apply for grants to implement GPS tracking program. Increase penalties.
Reforming Health Care Entitlements
- Modify Medicaid eligibility criteria for nondisabled, working-age adults.
- Fully fund the increase in costs for administering Medicaid programs due to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including an increase of $38 million from all funds for local government income maintenance programs.
- Fully fund ongoing costs SeniorCare, Well Woman, the state supplement to the Supplemental Security Income Program, the operations of Aging and Disability Resource Centers, the AIDS drug assistance program and the Chronic Disease programs.
- Provide $5 million GPR in the Wisconsin Health Information Organization.
- Increase funding for grants to counties to support alcohol and drug treatment programs. Increase the amount of revenue available to address alcohol and drug sample testing at the State Laboratory of Hygiene.
- Provide matching funds for a project at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, providing access to molecular imaging services for cancer patients.
- Implement reforms to provide incentives for people with disabilities to engage in meaningful work.
- Funding a Medigap Helpline database. Provide permanent funding for a relocation ombudsman position at the Board of Aging and Long-Term Care.
- Increase nursing home reimbursement rates by $26 million all funds.
Protecting Our Citizens
- Provide $14 million in law enforcement initiatives.
- Provide $2.7 million SEG in additional expenditure authority for two new state patrol recruit classes and $3.8 million SEG and 28.0 FTE for additional inspectors.
- Authorize law enforcement to collect DNA at the time of arrest for all felony and certain misdemeanor offenses, along with DNA collection for all misdemeanor convictions.
- Provide $451,000 GPR in FY2013-14 and $461,200 GPR in FY2014-15 and 5.0 FTE positions in each year to increase staffing for investigating Internet Crimes Against Children.
- Convert decreasing federal funding and add positions for the Wisconsin Statewide Information Center. Provide $815.800 GPR in FY2013-14 and $877,200 GPR in FY2014-15 and 8.0 FTE positions in each year to increase staffing for the Wisconsin Statewide Information Center.
- Provide $948 GPR in FY2013-14 and $3,457,600 GPR in FY2014-15 to provide pay progression to assistant district attorneys. Similarly provide pay progression and increase funding by $997,000 GPR in FY2013-14 and $1,978,600 GPR in FY2014-15 for assistant state public defenders. Provide a pay progression for assistant attorney generals.
- Direct state funding for the Sexual Assault Victim Services grant program to replace previous surcharge revenue. Provide $2 million GPR in each year.
- Increase funding for Boys and Girls Club program that focuses on study habits, intensive tutoring in math and English, and exposure to career options and role models.
- Extend foster care to age 21 for youth who are in school and making progress on Individualized Education Programs.
- Increase foster care rates by 2.5% in each calendar year.
- Allow children in foster care to transfer to subsidized guardianship placements to allow for more permanent placements in children in out-of-home care.
- Reallocate funding from the foster care continuation program for services to youth who age out of the child welfare system.
- Allow federal IV-E and GPR savings from the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare to provide postpermanencey services in the balance of the state.
- Increase subsidy reimbursement to four-star YoungStar child care providers.
Supporting our Veterans
- Invest a total of $36.6 million in new or expanded programs to assist veterans.
- Provide $8.6 million in FY2014-15 to expand the Veterans and Surviving Spouses Property Tax Credit.
- Invest in revised elibiligty requirements for the Wisconsin G.I. Bill and VetEd program, expand eligibility for VetEd reimbursement for veterans attending tribal colleges, double funding for veterans service organizations.
- Provide $5.3 million supplement to the Veterans Trust Fund.
- Provide an additional 110.6 FTE direct care and support positions at Veterans Home at King.
- Fully fund the continuing costs of the new facilities at the Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls and the Veterans Home at Union Grove.
- Fully fund Military Funeral Honors stipend with a sum sufficient appropriation.
- Issue vouchers to returning service members for free hunting and fishing license.
- Provide funding and position to further the mission of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.
Preserving Wisconsin’s Heritage
- Increase the hunting climate in Wisconsin by adopting multiple recommendations to increase access to hunting, conduct research, improve citizen involvement and manage chronic wasting disease.
- Utilize DOA’s and DNR’s resources to update the state’s land cover map.
- Provide $372,100 SEG in FY2013-14 and $406,000 SEG in FY2014-15 to support the opening of several new facilities at parks and southern forests and increase limited term employee hours to assist the millions of visitors.
- Fund $50,000 SEG in each year for conservation warden mileage costs and $226,600 SEG in each year to fund master lease payments for mobile data computers.
- Maintain operations at the state’s fish hatcheries’ by providing $85,500 SEG in FY2013-14 and $135,200 SEG in FY2014-15 to compensate for increased distribution, utilities, and production costs.
- Allow expansion fo the elk herd to additional counties.
- Provide an additional $24 million over the biennium to reduce nonpoint source water pollution through increased nutrient management planning contaminated sediment removal and other pollution abatement practices.
- Provide support to nonpoint source abatement projects through increased revenues dedicated to the nonpoint account of the Environmental Fund.
- Increase funding for the Historical Society for operation of the Circus World Museum.
Now that the budget has been introduced, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau will take 3-4 weeks to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the bill for the Joint Finance Committee (JFC). Starting in mid-March, JFC will schedule committee hearings and invite selected agency heads to appear and testify before the committee on their respective agency budgets. Public hearings on the bill are expected to be held in 3-5 locations throughout the state, starting in March and completed by mid-April.
Post agency and public hearings, JFC will be meeting several days each week through the end of May to take votes on various aspects of the bill. At the end of the JFC budget process, all JFC modifications to the Governor’s bill are incorporated in a Substitute Amendment and sent to the full Legislature for floor votes in each house.
The Legislature is expected to take the bill up in June and send their final product to the Governor by the end of the month. The Governor generally completes veto review within 30 days of receiving the bill before signing it into law. Given that Republicans control both houses, we anticipate they will stay largely on track with this schedule.