Contact: Tom Evenson, (608) 266-2839

Milwaukee – Governor Scott Walker discussed his priorities for the next state budget today with members of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. The Governor’s budget includes historic funding for K-12 and higher education, tax relief for the hard-working taxpayers, welfare reform, and the most funding ever for local road aids.

“It’s great to be here today in Milwaukee to meet with community leaders and discuss some of the things we’re doing to move our state – and Milwaukee – forward,” Governor Walker said. “If approved by the Legislature, our budget will provide the most money for K-12 education than ever before in our state’s history, continued tax relief, welfare reform, and more money to improve local roads. The Reform Dividend allows us to make important investments for the people of Milwaukee and for people all across our state.”

Governor Walker’s budget includes significant investments for Milwaukee residents, including:

Support for Education

  • Within the Milwaukee Public School district, 42 schools, which accounts for almost one-third of the district’s students, are failing to meet expectations on the most recent school report card. To best address the needs of these students, Governor Walker’s budget proposal provides $5.6 million in fiscal year 2018-2019 to incentivize improvement through a performance-based funding program made available to public, charter, and choice schools in the Milwaukee Public School district.
  • $500,000 for the Department of Children and Families (DCF) Families and Schools Together (FAST) Mental Health initiative in Milwaukee schools. This includes $250,000 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding in each fiscal year to support FAST, an evidence-based prevention and early intervention program connecting families, schools, and communities of young students in Milwaukee schools, which will ultimately enhance family functioning and prevent abuse, delinquency, and maltreatment issues at home.
  • $2.8 million for Milwaukee Public Schools Summer School grants. Students who attend summer school have the opportunity to take courses they might not otherwise have the chance to take during the traditional school year, which sets them up for further academic success. Governor Walker’s budget proposal invests $1.4 million per year for grants to schools in the Milwaukee Public School district with plans to increase student achievement in summer school programs.
  • Governor Walker’s budget proposal includes an $11.5 billion state investment in K-12 education, an all-time high.
  • Increase per-pupil state aid by $509.2 million. This marks the largest per-pupil categorical aid increase in history, providing a $200 per student increase in the first year and a $204 increase per student in the second year of the biennium.
  • A more than $100 million increased investment in the University of Wisconsin System. This is on top of an additional $35 million investment to fully fund a 5 percent tuition cut for all resident undergraduate students.
  • A $10 million increase in aid for the Wisconsin Technical College System, which will, in part, offset a freeze in technical college fees, saving the typical student $279 over the next two years.
  • $42.5 million in performance funding to be distributed to UW institutions based on improving college affordability and attainment, enhancing work readiness, graduates finding jobs in Wisconsin, and college efficiency.

Tax Relief

  • Property taxes on a median-valued home will be lower in 2018 than they were in 2010 under the Governor’s proposal. To drive them down further, Governor Walker’s budget eliminates the state portion of the property tax bill. For the first time since 1931, there will be no state tax collected on your property tax bill under the Governor’s proposal.
  • Income taxes in 2018 will be less than they were in 2010. Overall, income taxes on a typical family will go down more than $130 in this budget – so cumulatively from 2010 to 2018, that’s a savings of $1,542.
  • The Governor’s budget creates a “Back to School” sales tax holiday effective for two days in both August 2017 and August 2018 for specified school supplies. The sales tax holiday will provide tax relief to the hard-working families of Wisconsin sending their children back to school in the fall.

“Wisconsin Works for Everyone” Welfare Reform to Encourage & Reward Work

  • Able-bodied adults will need to be employed at least 80 hours a month to receive things like food stamps under Governor Walker’s plan. If not, they will need to be enrolled in our job training program. Public assistance should be a trampoline, not a hammock.
  • Governor Walker’s budget expands the Earned Income Tax Credit by raising the maximum benefit for parents with one child.
  • The Governor’s budget also eliminates the “benefits cliff” in the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program by replacing the cliff with a sliding scale contribution of $1 for every $3 earned in excess of 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • The Family Foundations Home Visiting program receives $7.8 million to provide additional families with evidence-based home visiting services shown to enhance child safety and development, and family self-sufficiency.

Transportation Funding

  • Governor Walker’s budget proposal provides the most funding ever to local governments for local roads.
  • $1.705 billion for State Highway Rehabilitation, the most funding ever.
  • Total funding for major highway development projects is $669.9 million over the biennium, alleviating delays to all active major projects.
  • At $500 million, Governor Walker’s budget proposal includes the lowest level of bonding since 2001-2003.
  • The core of the Zoo Interchange project will remain on schedule.

State Investment in St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care Bucyrus Campus

  • $5 million investment in Governor Walker’s Capital Budget to complete the St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care’s “Bucyrus Campus,” a provider of community services that spurs economic growth and stabilizes Milwaukee neighborhoods. This funding complements the more than $20 million investment already raised to complete the project, which includes an Alzheimer’s and Dementia Care Unit, Overnight Respite Care Unit, and Childcare Classrooms.
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