Relating to a Special Session of the Legislature on Expending State Surplus Dollars to Address Rising Costs for Families, Reduce Barriers to Employment, and Invest in Education
WHEREAS, due to the resilience of Wisconsinites during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as efforts to be prudent with taxpayer dollars and substantial investments in support of families, small businesses, farmers, and industries to ensure the state’s economic recovery, Wisconsin is in an unprecedented fiscal position;
WHEREAS, the state saw ‘unprecedented’ revenue projections in 2021 and ended fiscal year 2020-21 with a general fund balance of $1.18 billion, the largest positive Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) balance in state history while the state’s budget stabilization fund is likewise at the highest level ever;
WHEREAS, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau recently released new projections indicating the state general fund balance will have a $3.8 billion surplus at the end of the 2021-23 biennium—nearly $2.9 billion more than was previously projected in June 2021;
WHEREAS, Wisconsin continues to maintain high labor force participation rates and, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary data for December 2021, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate declined to a record low of 2.8 percent, the lowest in state history, and Wisconsin has the fewest number of people unemployed ever in state history;
WHEREAS, despite these indicators that Wisconsin’s economy is on the road to recovery, Wisconsinites and businesses face challenges finding workers to fill jobs given the state’s low unemployment rate and getting resources and materials efficiently due to supply chain concerns;
WHEREAS, compounding these challenges, a recently released report shows inflation is the highest it has been in four decades and Wisconsinites are concerned about rising costs at gas pumps and in grocery store aisles;
WHEREAS, this administration has sought to return taxpayer dollars back to taxpayers, ensuring 86 percent of Wisconsin taxpayers will see a 15 percent income tax cut, including providing one of the largest tax cuts in Wisconsin state history;
WHEREAS, due to tax cuts signed into law since 2019, coupled with directed changes effective earlier this year, a Wisconsin couple each making $50,000 will see more than $1,200 more for their household in their paychecks this year to help defray rising costs working families are experiencing across the state;
WHEREAS, nevertheless, these costs remain a top concern for working Wisconsinites and families in every corner of the state, many of whom are already working to try and make ends meet; and
WHEREAS, as the budget stabilization fund or ‘rainy day’ fund retains the largest balance in state’s history, according to the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, 50 percent of Wisconsinites are living paycheck to paycheck, 46 percent don’t have a ‘rainy day’ fund equal to three months of their income, and more than 20 percent have overdue medical bills.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, TONY EVERS, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the Laws of the State, specifically Article IV, Section 11 and Article V, Section 4 of the Wisconsin Constitution, hereby require the convening of a special session of the Legislature at the Capitol in the City of Madison, to commence at 10:00 am on March 8, 2022, solely to consider and act upon LRB-6095 and LRB-6096, relating to the additional child and dependent care tax credit, a rebate for individual residents, and a family caregiver tax credit; various changes to statutes related to elementary and secondary education in this state; increasing funding for the University of Wisconsin System, technical college system, special education, general equalization aids, and per pupil aid; granting rule-making authority; and making an appropriation.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed. Done at the YMCA of Kettle Moraine in the City of West Bend this sixteenth day of February in the year of two thousand twenty-two.
By the Governor:
Secretary of State
Representative Vorpagel moved that the Assembly stand adjourned pursuant to Senate Joint Resolution 1.
The question was: Shall the Assembly stand adjourned?
Motion carried.
The Assembly stood adjourned.
1:50 P.M.