Monday, June 27, 2011
June 2011 Extraordinary Session
The Chief Clerk makes the following entries under the above date:
Chief Clerk Reports
The Chief Clerk records:
Assembly Bill 40
Presented to the Governor on Friday, June 24.
Patrick E. Fuller
Assembly Chief Clerk
State of Wisconsin
Office of the Governor
June 27, 2011
To the Honorable Members of the Assembly:
The following bill, originating in the Assembly, has been approved, signed and deposited in the office of the Secretary of State:
Bill Number Act Number Date Approved
Assembly Bill 40
(in part)32June 26, 2011
Governor's Veto Message
June 26, 2011
To the Honorable Members of the Assembly:
I have approved Assembly Bill 40
as 2011 Wisconsin Act 32
and deposited it in the Office of the Secretary of State.
This budget reflects a return to the bedrock principles of our state's constitution - frugality and moderation. It's a budget that is, for the first time in many years, balanced - now and in the future - with a structural surplus of over $300 million in the 2013-15 biennium. It avoids relying on accounting gimmicks, fund raids and one-time funds. With this budget, we have begun to put our state's financial house in order and make our finances more transparent. And this budget is enacted before the start of the new biennium - with the earliest signing date since 1967.
Last March, I introduced a budget based on those fundamental values in our constitution. My budget brought spending in line with revenues - now and in the future - it did not raise taxes; it provided local governments with the tools to reduce costs and maintain essential services; and it set priorities on job creation and economic development. The budget I sign today, with limited vetoes, remains consistent with those goals and values. I want to commend the Legislature for its work in completing the budget on time. Together we have put Wisconsin back on a course toward job creation and prosperity. True economic growth requires a robust private sector. By balancing the budget through limits on government spending and focusing on priorities, we are on our way to creating 250,000 jobs by 2015.
Over 50 percent of Wisconsin's general fund budget is devoted to local government services - primarily to public schools and public safety. Preserving those services and reducing spending demanded that local officials be given the tools to truly manage costs. With employee compensation the largest part of those costs, changes to state and local government employee collective bargaining and increased employee contributions to pensions and health insurance costs were critical to preserving government services and Wisconsin's quality of life.
These changes will help set Wisconsin on a course toward stable, affordable and effective government. State and local government will become more nimble in the face of change and be able to achieve continuous improvement. With these tools, state and local officials can help lay the foundation for success - for our school children, our higher education graduates, our entrepreneurs and our businesses.
This budget protects Wisconsin tax payers - including middle class families, seniors in their homes and small businesses. It does not raise taxes. It freezes municipal, county and technical college district levies. It reduces school district revenue limits in line with necessary state aid reductions and consistent with savings from cost-containment measures. It limits growth in property taxes on the median value home to less than 1 percent each year. It eliminates regional transit authorities and their potential to independently raise local taxes.
This budget promotes job creation. It provides tax incentives for investing capital gains in Wisconsin businesses and growing manufacturing jobs. It devotes $160 million to the new Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in support of our state's economic prosperity. It promotes Wisconsin tourism by investing approximately $14 million annually in our state's marketing efforts, a nearly 40 percent increase. It supports business expansion by investing over $5.7 billion in our state's transportation system. It streamlines business licensing and regulation through a new Department of Safety and Professional Services.
Education is critical to job creation and Wisconsin's future prosperity. Wisconsin's public schools and higher education systems are among the best in the country. Flexible and accountable operations are central to ensuring Wisconsin children and young adults receive the best education possible. The budget invests $15 million in better school performance data systems, sets the stage for improved reading attainment in early grades and puts the state on a course toward implementing high quality student assessment systems.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison and all University of Wisconsin System campuses are given greater financial and management flexibility along with a greater focus on accountability through annual reports measuring time to graduation, accessibility to key courses and other important performance and outcome measures. Low-income families are given greater access to education by lifting the enrollment cap on the Milwaukee private school choice program, expanding choice to Racine and protecting higher education grants from cuts.
Ensuring sustainable health care programs is the cornerstone of this budget. Due to the sunset of one-time federal funding and dramatic expansions in program participation, nearly all of the general fund revenue growth over the next two years is allocated to fund Medicaid. In order to bring health care costs in future budgets in line with available revenue, the Department of Health Services will begin implementing various measures to "bend-the-cost-curve." These measures include revamping BadgerCare so that it functions more efficiently and effectively, modifying Family Care toward a greater emphasis on self-directed and focused care, consolidating and streamlining back-office eligibility functions, and preserving SeniorCare.
The following is a brief summary of how this budget, including my vetoes, will address some of the key issues facing the citizens of Wisconsin:
• Provides more than $160 million in funding over the biennium for the newly created Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to support a concentrated focus on economic development in the state.
• Increases tourism marketing from $9.9 million in fiscal year 2010-11 to $13.8 million annually in part by redirecting arts spending to emphasize those activities that both support the arts and grow the economy.
• Ensures Wisconsin's meat processing industry can participate in national and global markets by authorizing 10.0 FTE positions for meat inspection activities.
• Reduces regulatory burdens on business expansion by streamlining reporting and eligibility requirements under the prevailing wage law.
• Improves the solvency of the unemployment trust fund by implementing a one-week delay in receiving initial benefits, similar to benefit programs in many other states.
• Creates the Department of Safety and Professional Services to consolidate the regulatory and licensing functions of several agencies to improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of operations. Licensing fees charged to regulated professions will be frozen at the same level as the previous biennium, which is due, in part, to the increased efficiency expected from the consolidated operations.
General Fund Taxes
• Protects middle class families, seniors and small businesses by avoiding any tax increases despite one of the largest deficits in state history.
• Provides an income and franchise tax credit for manufacturers and agricultural producers, reducing the tax burden on those industries to encourage job creation and investment in Wisconsin in sectors where the state has a competitive advantage.
• Creates a capital gains deferral for realized gains reinvested in Wisconsin-based businesses as well as a 100 percent capital gains exclusion for gains realized on Wisconsin-sourced capital assets held for more than five years to create an incentive for greater investment in Wisconsin businesses.
Shared Revenue and Tax Relief
• Enacts the strongest levy limits in Wisconsin history by limiting levy increases for counties and municipalities to the greater of 0 percent or the change in equalized value due to net new construction, and creating a new levy limit on technical college districts, which limits increases to changes in property values unless approved by the voters in the district.
Provides local governments with additional flexibility in meeting budget challenges by increasing the ability of local governments to realize employee compensation savings, repealing the emergency services maintenance of effort requirement, allowing local governments to create combined municipal protective services departments to provide both police and fire services, and suspending the county operating limit for two years to prevent counties with low mill rates from being forced to reduce levies due to falling property values.
• Protected sustainable funding for equalization aid in the face of one of the largest deficits in state history.
• Provides a $50 per pupil revenue increase in fiscal year 2012-13 and creates a one-time $42.5 million GPR categorical aid program to match district revenue increases.
• Expands the private school choice program by repealing the enrollment limit, allowing schools throughout the state to serve eligible city of Milwaukee residents, raising the income threshold to 300 percent of poverty and allowing the Racine School District to participate in the program based on newly established program criteria.
• Supports greater accountability and performance by investing $15 million in the development of a statewide student information system and requiring the Department of Public Instruction to implement a new pupil assessment based on mastery of Common Core Standards by 2014-15.
• Invests in education by ensuring all elementary school students can read at grade level by providing $1.2 million over the biennium in support of the Governor's Read to Lead Task Force.
• Provides greater financial and management flexibility to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin System campuses, including the ability to establish separate personnel management and compensation systems.
• Requires the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Wisconsin System campuses to provide annual accountability reports, including time to receive a degree, availability of key courses, economic development activities and other important measures.