Legislative Update – April 10

Budget hearings ‘up north’ next week
Public education grabbed the spotlight at last week’s Joint Finance Committee budget hearings last week, and the next round is expected to reap more of the same – especially given the funding plight that has been plaguing rural schools in northern Wisconsin as a result of state cuts to schools over the past two biennial budgets. If you’re able to attend a hearing, email Communications@WEAC.org so we can be sure to capture your testimony. Watch video clips

This is your chance to have your voice heard, and we’re hearing that attendance has been relatively light, so please consider taking part in this important part of the process. All JFC hearings run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Tuesday, April 18 –Spooner High School auditorium, 801 County Hwy A, Spooner
  • Wednesday, April 19 – Ellsworth High School gymnasium, 323 W. Hillcrest St, Ellsworth
  • Friday, April 21 –Marinette High School auditorium, 2135 Pierce Avenue, Marinette

Don’t Overlook Democratic Budget Hearings on Saturday, April 22
While the official budget hearings are being held during the day, when educators are working with students, Democratic leaders are hosting listening sessions at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, to collect input. These are great opportunities to have your voice heard by legislators and media.

  • Democratic Budget Listening Sessions, 10 a.m., Saturday, April 22
    • Dodgeville City Hall, 198 E. Fountain Street, Dodgeville
    • UW-Marathon County, 518 South 7th Avenue, Wausau

Special Education Bill
Co-sponsors are being sought for LRB-0640/1 relating to increasing funding for special education. This bill increases state aid to school districts for special education and school age parent’s programs provided by the school district to no less than 33 percent of the school district’s certified, eligible costs.

Tech College Call to Action
WEAC technical college instructor members have launched an action alert to urge lawmakers not to support “performance-based funding” for technical colleges. Learn more and contact your legislators here.

Voucher School Referendum Bill
Four Democratic legislators are advancing a bill to give property taxpayers the final say on whether they want to be on the hook for tax dollars taken directly out of public schools to fund vouchers. The bill would require a referendum to pass before voucher schools can take state aid out of a public school district. The 2015 state budget changed state law to divert state funding to voucher schools at a rate much higher per student than public schools receive.

On the Forefront

  • Insiders are expecting Republicans to caucus this week for an up-down vote on the Constitutional Convention.