The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has begun taking votes on the 2019-21 state budget. Departing from previous sessions' procedures, JFC is working from the previous base budget instead of the governor's proposal. If no motions are offered on a particular area, then that item remains at the base funding level. So far, JFC has voted to remove 131 major policy and fiscal provisions from the budget and taken up a list of relatively non-controversial state agencies. Below are summaries of notable actions from each of JFC's executive sessions so far.
As the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) continued budget votes this week, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated revenue numbers projecting the state will collect $753 million more in general fund taxes than previously estimated. Overall, the new projections give the state $2.9 billion more to spend in the 2019-21 budget than in 2017-19.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in First Extraordinary Session Challenge
In its last oral arguments of the 2018-19 term, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard a case that will decide whether the Legislature constitutionally convened the December 2018 extraordinary session. The issue in League of Women Voters v. Evers is whether extraordinary sessions are "provided by law" as required by Wisconsin Constitution Art. IV § 11.
Floor Report: Legislature Approves Marsy's Law, Other Bills Taken Up by Senate & Assembly
The Senate and Assembly both met for floor sessions on May 15. The relatively limited calendars included votes on crime victims' rights, a water pollution trading program, record expungement, and a package of legislation on abortion.
The Speaker's Task Force on Water Quality met for its first public hearing on May 8 in Lancaster. The task force heard from several research and farm groups before taking public testimony.
The task force plans to meet for several more public hearings across the state. Previously, the task force met twice at the state capitol to hear testimony from farmers, conservation advocates, and state agencies. April meeting. March meeting.
The Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistants held PA Day at the Capitol on May 14. Nearly 50 PAs from across the state came to Madison to advocate in support of its Collaboration And Rural Expansion of Services (CARES) Act.
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