The Joint Finance Committee Thursday killed a plan for $1.4 billion in federal funding that would have helped fund schools, roads and healthcare. The party-line vote to deny full Medicaid expansion was followed by a vote on a huge package of recommended budget provisions that would have increased special education funding and teacher quality measures, plus require transparency and accountability for taxpayer-funded private schools.
“Wisconsin educators and parents have turned out in droves to be clear about our No. 1 priority – our students,” said WEAC President Ron Martin. “Our dedication is strong – we will continue to advocate in the best interest of our students for equitable funding for public schools.”
- The Senate and Assembly will be in session May 15. The Assembly will act on a series of bills including AB-022, which would require driver education instruction to include information on spotting and reporting human trafficking.
- Mental health. Governor Tony Evers will proclaim Friday, May 10, Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day.
- The Legislative Audit Bureauhas released a new audit of the UW System. (Full Report, Highlights)
- Minority Teacher Loan Program AB-051. The Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee has approved this bill.
Bills Circulating for Co-Sponsorship
- Prohibiting the Investment Board from making investments in firearms companies (LRB-3060/1). While not currently investing directly in the firearm industry, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) has in the past been a shareholder. Prior to May of 2018, Wisconsin was just one of eleven states that continued to invest in the firearms industry. According to the filing from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission covering state’s holdings as of 12/31/17, SWIB held 400,000 shares, or $5.1 million worth, of American Outdoor Brands Corp. stock (formerly known as Smith & Wesson).
- Wisconsin Reading Corps (LRB-2754 Memo). Funding for Wisconsin Reading Corps. Republican legislators are circulating this bill, even though Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget eliminates former Governor Scott Walker’s “Read to Lead” program (read more here) and funds the Wisconsin Reading Corps at $700,000 a year.
- Teacher Appreciation Week (LRB-3201/1). While this is just circulating now – it calls on Wisconsin to recognize this week and the important work of educators.