Governor Evers Introduces State Budget Bill
Yesterday evening, Governor Tony Evers introduced his 2023-25 Biennial Budget proposal – the state’s two-year spending plan – before a Joint Session of the Wisconsin Legislature. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee met shortly afterwards to formally introduce the bill.
As was the case with the governor’s previous budget proposals, the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to essentially scrap most of the Evers budget and craft their own version by working off current spending levels. However, it is likely the Legislature will adopt some of the governor’s initiatives.
The governor’s budget proposal included numerous provisions of interest to WEDA, including:
Economic /Workforce Development
- Provide $10 million GPR annually to increase WEDC’s block grant to $51,550,700.
- Provide $40 million GPR on a one-time basis to the WEDC as temporary additional assistance to support continued economic recovery efforts throughout Wisconsin.
- Provide $5 million GPR annually to support the WEDC in its talent attraction and retention efforts.
- Provide $200 million GPR to continue the Workforce Innovation Grant Program at the Department of Workforce Development. The grant program was previously funded with federal funding received by the state under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
- Provide an additional $3.5 million GPR over the biennium for skilled worker training under the Workforce Advancement Training grants awarded by the Wisconsin Technical College System.
- Provide $25 million GPR annually to continue the Main Street Bounceback Grant program. WEDC will use these funds to continue efforts aimed at restoring business occupancy in vacant commercial spaces. The program was previously funded with federal funding received by the state under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
- Create a venture capital program located at WEDC with $75 million in one-time GPR funding.
- Provide a 10 percent cut in individual income taxes for most middle-class filers.
- Increase the refundable share of the research credit from 15 percent to 50 percent beginning with tax year 2024.
- Raise the wage thresholds under the Enterprise Zone Jobs Tax Credit and the Business Development Tax Credit.
- Create state tax-preferred savings accounts that would allow first-time homebuyers to subtract from their adjusted gross income up to $5,000 in contributions for single filers and up to $10,000 in contributions for married-joint filers.
- Limit the amount of qualified production activities income that may be claimed by manufacturing firms under the Manufacturing and Agriculture credit to $300,000 per tax year. WEDA has and will continue to oppose this proposal.
- Invest $750 million GPR for the Broadband Expansion Grant program.
- Greater investments in transportation funding, including funding for local road improvements and major bridge and highway projects.
The Legislature will take roughly a month to review the bill before the formal budget process begins. In late March or early April, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will hold informational hearings on the bill with testimony from state agencies. This will be followed by a series of public hearings on the budget bill Around the beginning of May, JFC will begin meeting two or three times per week to take up and vote on individual budget provisions, with the goal of completing their work in early June. The legislation will then be considered and voted on by the full Legislature, with lawmakers aiming to pass it and send it to Gov. Evers before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.
Below you will find links to Gov. Evers’ Budget Address, a “Budget in Brief” Summary Document, the full Executive Budget Document, and a copy of the actual legislation:
- Governor Evers’ Budget Address
- Budget in Brief Summary
- Executive Budget Document
- Statutory Language of AB 43/SB 70
The WEDA Government Affair Team will continue to analyze the recently introduced budget bill and update the membership as necessary. Please contact WEDA V.P. of Legislative Affairs Michael Welsh with any questions at email@example.com .