Contact: Rep. Ed Brooks
Madison, WI – Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Assembly took up and passed AB 64, the Budget Bill. While, not perfect, this version is one that received support from State Representative Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg).
First and foremost, this budget makes some remarkable investments in public education. This budget provides $200 more for per pupil funding in the first year of the biennium, increasing another $200 in the second year. It also states that per pupil funding remain at least $630 a year for years following this budget.
This budget puts a focus on rural Wisconsin. The budget provides a variety of grants aimed at rural areas. Some of the grants included are for a Rural School Teacher Talent Pilot Program and for the Rural Physician Residency Assistance Project. Additionally, there are grants for Rural Wisconsin in the areas of healthcare that encourage training for allied health professional and advanced practice clinicians. This budget also invests millions in broadband expansion. Finally, this budget directs that the road repairs for State Highway 154 be moved up, a much needed project in the area.
Last session, Rep. Brooks voted against the budget because it contained two major shortfalls, specifically in the areas of transportation and public education. This budget, while not ideal, makes some changes in the right direction. While not perfect, this budget does do a lot of good for constituents in rural Wisconsin. Even though not all of Rep. Brooks’ concerns were perfectly addressed, this budget makes some positive investments over the biennium and, thus, has earned his support.