WEDA Legislative Update

Earlier this month, WEDA held yet another successful Legislative Day. The 2023 annual event, which was held of March 8, saw WEDA members from every corner of the state come to Madison to advocate for effective economic development policies that promote growth and prosperity in Wisconsin.

The one-day event allowed participants to network with WEDA colleagues, hear from key policymakers and other speakers, and participate in in-depth policy briefings and advocacy training. More importantly. The event provided WEDA members with a unique opportunity to build relationships with their local state lawmakers and educate them on critical issues impacting Wisconsin’s economic development professionals and the communities they serve.

Participating WEDA members were briefed on the following WEDA legislative priorities and had an opportunity to discuss each issue with their state lawmakers:

The WEDA Government Affairs team is currently lobbying on each priority – as both stand alone legislation and potentially as part of the state budget bill – along with other key initiatives included in the WEDA 2023-24 Legislative Agenda.

Speaking of the 2023-25 State Budget bill – which lays out the state’s spending plan for the next two years – the Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released its plain-language summary (by state agency) of Gov. Tony Evers’ budget bill proposal, which he introduced last month. The Co-Chairs of the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee – the Legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee – have said they will largely scrap Evers’ budget proposal, and the committee will instead develop their own version of the state budget bill.

The next step in the state budget process will begin next week, with the Joint Finance Committee holding budget briefings on the following state agencies:

  • March 28 – Secretary Craig Thompson (Dept. of Transportation ) and Secretary Kevin Carr (Dept. of Corrections)
  • March 30 – Secretary Blumenfeld (Dept. Administration) and Secretary Dan Hereth (Dept. of Safety and Professional Services)

In addition, the committee will hold a series of four public hearings across the state in April where the public will have the opportunity to testify on budget issues:

  • April 5 – Waukesha County Expo Center
  • April 11 – UW-Eau Claire, Davies Student Center
  • April 12 – Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Conference Center
  • April 26 – Lakeland Union High School

Wisconsin residents can also submit budget comments to the Joint Finance Committee via an online portal or by email.