Promises Made, Promises Kept: Gov. Evers Signs Wisconsin’s 2019-21 Biennial Budget into Law
Evers' budget includes largest general school aid and special education increases in a decade, increases revenue to fix our roads for the first time in a generation, provides 10 percent tax cut for Wisconsin's working families
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today signed the 2019-21 state biennial budget, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 9, into law with partial vetoes.
“While this budget makes critical investments in areas that were included in The People’s Budget, this is a down payment on the progress we must make in the next biennial budget,” said Gov. Evers. “Vetoing this budget would have meant passing up the opportunity to provide investments in special education, the largest general school aid increase in a decade, increased revenue to fix our roads, and critical investments in broadband expansion, Wisconsin shares, child welfare, rural hospitals, and transit, among other important priorities.
“When I ran for this office, I said it was time for a change. And I made promises to the people of Wisconsin,” Gov. Evers continued. “I promised I would put people first, and that is why I am proud we were able to do as much as we did with the budget we were given.
“This budget delivers on many of the important promises I made to the people of Wisconsin and makes progress toward fixing our roads, supporting schools, increasing funding for healthcare, and cutting taxes for working families.”
Highlights from Gov. Evers’ 2019-21 budget include:
- In recognition of the direct care workforce shortages in the state, this budget provides over $230 million to support workers who provide direct care to Wisconsin’s most vulnerable citizens in Family Care, nursing homes, and individuals receiving personal care services.
- Makes important investments in Wisconsin’s rural healthcare providers by increasing funding by $9.9 million for the Rural Critical Care Hospital Supplement.
- Invests $14.2 million in lead testing and abatement and begins to address the issue of childhood lead poisoning.
- Provides nearly $30 million, the largest state-funded increase ever, to support programs for Wisconsin veterans.
Safe and Just Communities
- Increases the private bar rate for the Office of the State Public Defender, for the first time since 1992, from $40 per hour to $70 per hour to provide our citizens with prompt representation and save our counties money.
- Provides over 60 new full-time assistant district attorneys across the state, which is the first time the state has created any new full-time GPR-funded positions since 2007.
- Provides funding to work towards meeting the state’s obligations to close Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake schools and moving youth into the least restrictive appropriate setting as soon as practicable.
What’s Best for Kids
- Doubles state support for school mental health programs over the biennium to provide increased access to professionals to assist children in our schools in need.
- Provides nearly $330 million, the largest nominal dollar increase in state general aid since the 2005-07 biennium.
- Increases state special education categorical aid funding for the first time since 2008-09 by providing over $95 million over the biennium in additional state support.
- Through the veto process, increases per pupil state categorical aids by nearly $100 million over the biennium.
- Increases high cost transportation aid for rural districts by $1.6 million over the biennium to raise reimbursement rates to 90 percent of eligible costs.
Higher Education and Workforce
- Increases state general aid for the Wisconsin Technical College System by $25 million, the largest nominal increase since at least 1993.
- Commits over $1 billion in bonding authority, the largest nominal increase ever, to modernize aging University of Wisconsin buildings and improve learning environments, which will help the system attract and retain students, faculty, and researchers.
- Provides $45 million over the biennium to the University of Wisconsin (UW) System for capacity building initiatives, while continuing to freeze resident undergraduate tuition to keep higher education affordable and mitigate student debt.
Agriculture, Tourism, and Economic Development
- Provides $48 million throughout the biennium, the largest amount ever, to expand the Broadband Expansion Grant program to reach more underserved areas of the state.
- Recognizes that the dairy industry is a critical part of our state’s economy, which is why this budget invests $8.8 million over the biennium in a Dairy Innovation Hub at the University of Wisconsin System.
- Provides $750,000 annually for farmers to engage in best management practices under the producer led watershed protection grant program.
- Invests $100,000 to further research on chronic wasting disease in our state.
- Provides more than $465 million overall for transportation projects across the state and makes significant progress towards sustainable funding for transportation with the largest dedication of new, ongoing revenue to the transportation fund in a generation.
- Invests more ongoing revenue than ever before in our transportation infrastructure, while at the same time maintaining bonding at our lowest level in the last 20 years.
- Invests $320 million in additional funding for our State Highway Rehabilitation program
- Provides an historic 10 percent increase ($66 million over the biennium) in available funding for general transportation aids, paid to counties, towns, villages, and cities.
- Finishes off the Zoo Interchange project as it was designed.
- Along with AB 251, a bipartisan proposal, provides $518 million in individual income tax relief in the form of income tax rate reductions targeting lower and middle income earners.
- Overall, approximately 92 percent of these income tax cuts for non-married filers will go to filers with adjusted gross income below $100,000 annually and 76 percent of tax cuts for married-joint filers will go to filers with adjusted gross income below $150,000.
- Typical middle class single filers will see an income tax reduction of approximately $136 annually while middle class married-joint filers will see a reduction of $182 annually when the tax rate reductions are fully implemented in tax year 2020.
- Extends the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program.
- Further enhances our work on addressing PFAS by providing $150,000 to develop a model to identify and prioritize sites with likely PFAS contamination and adding positions to the Department of Natural Resources.
- Recognizes the value of our state workforce in serving the people of Wisconsin by providing almost $80 million in state funds to fund 2 percent annual general wage adjustments for most state employees.
- Provides nearly $36 million in state funds over the biennium to institute an hourly wage increase and pay progression for certain correctional officers and youth counselor positions, effective January 1, 2020.
A copy of Gov. Evers’ full veto message can be found here.
Office of the Governor
More about the 2019-2021 Wisconsin Budget
- State Budget Fell Short on Highways? - Laurel White - Jul 8th, 2019
- Rep. LaKeshia Myers Supports Governor Evers’ Partial Vetoes - State Rep. LaKeshia Myers - Jul 3rd, 2019
- Statement: Wisconsin’s biennial budget will speed up transition to electric vehicles and improve public transit - WISPIRG Foundation - Jul 3rd, 2019
- Majority Leader Fitzgerald Reacts to Governor Evers Signing the Wisconsin Budget - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Jul 3rd, 2019
- Evers Uses 78 Partial Vetoes on Budget - Laurel White - Jul 3rd, 2019
- Rep. Bowen Statement on Gov. Evers’ Signing of Biennial Budget - State Rep. David Bowen - Jul 3rd, 2019
- Promises Made, Promises Kept: Gov. Evers Signs Wisconsin’s 2019-21 Biennial Budget into Law - Gov. Tony Evers - Jul 3rd, 2019
- Budget Bill The Shortest in Decades - Shawn Johnson - Jun 30th, 2019
- Op Ed: Budget Should Plan For the Future - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Jun 29th, 2019
- Majority Leader Fitzgerald Statement on the Passage of the Wisconsin Budget - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Jun 26th, 2019
- Statement from Rep. Brostoff on Passage of Republican Budget - State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff - Jun 26th, 2019
- Rep. Bowen Statement on Passage of Watered-Down Republican Budget - State Rep. David Bowen - Jun 26th, 2019
- Republican Budget is Replete with Countless Missed Opportunities - State Rep. LaKeshia Myers - Jun 25th, 2019
- Budget Committee Debates Stewardship Program - Danielle Kaeding - May 28th, 2019
- Republicans Refuse to Allow Votes on Budget Proposals to Help People Vote - One Wisconsin Now - May 14th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Responds to GOP Rejection of Medicaid Expansion - State Rep. Robyn Vining - May 9th, 2019
- Gov. Evers’ Statement on Joint Finance Committee Action - Gov. Tony Evers - May 9th, 2019
- Leader Fitzgerald Applauds Joint Finance Committee Eliminating Over $1 Billion in Gov. Evers’ Tax Hikes - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - May 9th, 2019
- Scores of People Attend State Budget Hearing - Bridgit Bowden - Apr 6th, 2019
- Legislators Resist Many Evers Proposals - Laurel White - Apr 5th, 2019
- Republicans Call for Reset of Evers’ Budget - Shawn Johnson and Laurel White - Apr 4th, 2019
- Evers Budgets $78 Million for High Speed Internet - Danielle Kaeding - Mar 14th, 2019
- Evers Wants $2.5 Billion Capital Budget - Shawn Johnson - Mar 11th, 2019
- The Medical College of Wisconsin Applauds Governor Evers Commitment to Cancer Research - Medical College of Wisconsin - Mar 8th, 2019
- Evers Budget Overlooks Convention Center - Corri Hess - Mar 8th, 2019
- School Leaders Back Evers Funding Plan - John Davis - Mar 7th, 2019
- WILL Budget Explainer: The Administrative State - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Mar 7th, 2019
- Governor Evers Makes Historic Investments in Health Care Coverage and Access - Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Mar 6th, 2019
- Evers’ Budget Allows Immigrants In-State Tuition - Phoebe Petrovic - Mar 6th, 2019
- Murphy’s Law: Who Will Win State Budget Battle? - Bruce Murphy - Mar 5th, 2019
- The State of Politics: Governor’s Veto Power Looms Large - Steven Walters - Mar 4th, 2019
- Rural and Urban School Districts Express Support for Governor Evers’ Budget - Milwaukee Public Schools - Mar 1st, 2019
- Governor Evers Budget Prioritizes Real People Living Real Lives - Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health - Mar 1st, 2019
- Coalition for More Responsible Transportation Members Applaud Gov. Evers’ Proposed Transportation Budget - Coalition for More Responsible Transportation - Mar 1st, 2019
- Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald Responds to Governor Evers’ Budget Address - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Considine Statement on Governor’s Budget - State Rep. Dave Considine - Feb 28th, 2019
- Senator Craig Responds to Governor Evers’ Budget Address - State Sen. David Craig - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Shankland Commends Governor Evers on The People’s Budget - State Rep. Katrina Shankland - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Cheers The People’s Budget - State Rep. Robyn Vining - Feb 28th, 2019
- Milwaukee Area Labor Council Reaction State Budget - Milwaukee Area Labor Council - Feb 28th, 2019
- Statement from Rep. Brostoff in Support of Gov. Evers’ Redistricting Plan - State Rep. Jonathan Brostoff - Feb 28th, 2019
- The People’s Budget is a Win for Wisconsin - State Sen. Jennifer Shilling - Feb 28th, 2019
- Rep. Mark Spreitzer Applauds Gov. Evers’s Budget Address - State Rep. Mark Spreitzer - Feb 28th, 2019
- Gov. Tony Evers’ Budget Plan: Progress on Solutions for Student Loan Borrowers and Protections for Wisconsin Voter Rights - One Wisconsin Now - Feb 28th, 2019
- Governor Evers Gives 2019-21 Biennial Budget Address - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 28th, 2019
- MacIver Responds To Reporters Being Barred From Evers Budget Briefing - MacIver Institute - Feb 28th, 2019
- AFP-WI: Evers Education Budget Doesn’t Prioritize Student Success - AFP Wisconsin - Feb 28th, 2019
- Evers’ Budget Will Include Nonpartisan Redistricting Process - Shawn Johnson - Feb 27th, 2019
- Representative Subeck Applauds Governor Evers’ Plan to Ensure Fair Election Maps - State Rep. Lisa Subeck - Feb 26th, 2019
- Rep. Robyn Vining Embraces Gov. Evers’ Inclusion of Redistricting in Budget - State Rep. Robyn Vining - Feb 26th, 2019
- Gov. Evers Announces Tribal Initiatives in State Budget - Gov. Tony Evers - Feb 26th, 2019
- Governor Evers’ Budget Targets School Choice: What You Need to Know - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Feb 25th, 2019
- The State of Politics: 10 Issues to Watch in Evers Budget - Steven Walters - Feb 25th, 2019
- Evers Signals Gas Tax In His Budget - Danielle Kaeding - Feb 13th, 2019
- Evers Budget Will ‘Put Kids First’ - Shawn Johnson - Jan 30th, 2019
- Evers Wants Voucher Costs on Tax Bills - Shawn Johnson - Jan 3rd, 2019
Recent Press Releases by Gov. Tony Evers
Gov. Evers’ remarks as prepared for delivery.
This appointment fills a vacancy created by the retirement of Tim Baxter on Jan. 3, 2020.