Governor Tony Evers has vetoed a Republican plan to further cut taxes for manufacturers instead of investing in public schools. The governor had proposed using some state surplus funds for special education programs and student mental health, while still reducing property taxes, but Republican leaders refused to take up the plan.
The veto came after the governor and legislative Democrats said they are open to working together to find a compromise to use the budget surplus funds to increase education funding and fund a tax cut. Senate Majority Leader, Scott Fitzgerald responded that “there is no time for compromise” and closed the door on using the state surplus for education – even though a statewide poll this week shows the majority of Wisconsinites favor of an increase in state public school spending.
Education Committee to Meet
The Senate Education Committee will hold public hearings on the following bills on March 11.
- Expanding Part-Time Open Enrollment (SB 789 / AB 849). This bill expands the part-time open enrollment program and renames it the course choice program. Under the current part-time open enrollment program, a pupil enrolled in a public school in the high school grades may attend a course at a public school in a nonresident school district. Under the bill, a pupil enrolled in an educational institution, as defined in the bill, in grades one to twelve may attend a course at another educational institution. A pupil may attend no more than a total of two courses at any one time under the current part-time open enrollment program or under the bill’s course choice program. The bill passed the Assembly.
- Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Center (SB 506). Provides grants for this program.
- Holocaust and other genocides in state model social studies standards (AB 816 / SB 744).This bill would require the Holocaust and other incorporating the Holocaust and other genocides into the state model social studies standards and requiring instruction on the Holocaust and other genocides.
Other Bills We’re Watching:
- Family and Medical Leave ( AB-927) Allowing the enactment of local family and medical leave ordinances. Referred to Assembly Small Business Development
- Minimum Wage ( AB-928 ) Allowing the enactment of local minimum wage ordinances. Teacher Loan Program ( AB-938) Allowing certain child care providers to participate in the teacher loan program and making an appropriation. Referred to Assembly Education
- Phasing out vouchers (AB 935 / SB 816). This bill 1) eliminates the Achievement Gap Reduction (AGR) program and the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (former SAGE) program; 2) creates a new Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (new SAGE) program; and 3) phases out the parental choice programs and the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP).
A three-judge panel has overturned an Ozaukee County judge’s ruling requiring elections officials to deactivate the registrations of some 200,000 voters suspected to have moved. The Madison-based appellate court also vacated the Ozaukee County Judge Paul Malloy’s finding the state Elections Commission and three commissioners in contempt of court for not striking the suspected movers from the rolls.