In their May 9 executive session, the Joint Finance Committee began by removing 131 major policy and fiscal provisions Gov. Tony Evers had proposed, including the removal of the governor’s plan for Medicaid expansion. (Read more about notable provisions removed.) JFC approved removing the items on an 11-4 party line vote. The committee also rejected a motion from Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) that would have kept Medicaid expansion in the budget.
Other items of note discussed in the May 9 session included funding for Department of Corrections (DOC) pay raises in Program Supplements. Coming shortly after Gov. Evers’s administration announced temporary pay increases at six correctional institutions, JFC approved a motion to reduce the discretionary merit compensation for state employees appropriation by $3.7 million annually and specify that DOC cannot request a supplement beyond that appropriation, effectively limiting DOC’s ability to provide the raises.
Under Shared Revenue and Tax Relief, JFC rejected a Democratic motion to approve Gov. Evers’s recommendation to increase shared revenue with municipalities. The governor’s plan to increase county and municipal aid by 2 percent was voted down 4-11 on party lines.
Also on May 9, JFC took up:
Educational Communications Board
Medical College of Wisconsin
Employment Relations Commission
Administration — Division of Gaming
Health Services — Care and Treatment Services
Shared Revenue and Tax Relief — Forestry Mill Rate
Transportation — State Patrol
Revenue – Departmentwide