MADISON – Today, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released new revenue estimates showing the state is now expected to take in $818.2 million more in revenue through mid-2021 than previously projected. Approximately $409 million of the new revenue will be transferred to the rainy day fund, leaving $451.9 million in new general fund dollars. The Assembly Democratic members of the Joint Committee on Finance released the following statement in response:
“This new revenue presents a great opportunity for lawmakers to act on some of the most pressing needs of our state, such as our youth mental health crisis,” said Rep. Taylor (D-Madison). “During the budget process, Governor Evers proposed $44 million in new funding for school-based mental health programming, but Republicans cut this down to just $6 million. Our youth are committing suicide at an alarming rate, and are experiencing higher rates of depression and anxiety than the national average. Yet Wisconsin ranks 42nd in the nation in youth accessing mental health care. The state of the mental health of our youth is a crisis we cannot ignore.”
“It has been 672 days since every legislator voted to close Lincoln Hills and institute ‘The Wisconsin Model’ for juvenile corrections,” said Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee). “As of today not one shovel has been put into the ground and not one juvenile moved into a new, more effective facility closer to home. It’s time to fulfill the promise we made almost two years ago. If financing has been the impasse to getting the job done, this new projection of revenue is more than enough to ensure Republicans follow through with their promise when they voted for 2017 Act 185.”
These are just two critical initiatives that need immediate additional investment. Assembly Democratic members of the Joint Committee on Finance urge our Republican colleagues to join us in prioritizing these needed, critical investments.