Legislative Update – Governor-Elect Evers hosts listening sessions

WEAC Legislative Update – December 13, 2018

WEAC members including Jessica Galarneau, Justin Delfosse and Aaron Juhl are among educators taking time to weigh in for their students and schools.

Listening sessions
WEAC was well-represented at the first two Building the People’s Budget listening sessions this week in Green Bay and Wausau. Equitable school funding, educator quality, teacher shortages, special education funding, ending tax-funded private school tuition vouchers, closing achievement gaps and higher education were all topics on the minds of attendees. There are two more sessions next week, in La Crosse and Milwaukee, but both have waiting lists already. However, WEAC has other ways to get your opinions out there, too.

WEAC Feedback Form
As we collect educator input to partner with Governor-Elect Tony Evers, we’re announcing another opportunity for educators to have their opinions and ideas voiced to the new administration – WEAC’s Feedback Form:

What are your top priorities for the incoming governor?
Click here to complete our online form!

This form will be active as the new governor is inaugurated on January 7, and we’ll continue to collect feedback throughout the budget and legislative session this winter and spring. WEAC member Amy Traynor serves on the governor-elect’s transition team, and will be sure your thoughts and ideas are brought forward as plans are made for Wisconsin’s new direction.

Transition to a new direction in Wisconsin
WEAC President Ron “Duff” Martin is one of several WEAC members representing our union on a number of committees and panels being formed by Evers, and we’ll keep you posted on how you can provide input as they begin to take shape.

You’ll remember that, in November, we hosted the first tele-town hall for member feedback. Hear what Governor-Elect Evers said to WEAC members on the call.

Inauguration details
WEAC is represented on the planning team for the governor-elect’s Inauguration, details of which are on the official inauguration page.

Lame duck session
Three bills are now on Governor Scott Walker’s desk. He says he might have a few line-item vetos, but supports many of the restrictive measures, adding he doesn’t really think they’ll limit Governor-Elect Tony Evers’ power. Media outlets are reporting that early vote limits included in the mix resemble some that have already been rejected by a judge.

Also just announced as part of the lame duck session, Kimberly-Clark could earn up to $28 million over five years as part of an incentive package outgoing Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has reached with the company to keep open a plant in the Fox Valley. The deal also includes a commitment from the company to invest $200 million in the plant. To reach the full potential of the deal, Kimberly-Clark also would have to meet benchmarks for the number of employees working at the Cold Spring facility as well as its overall state workforce.

School funding
The state portion of funding for K-12 school hit 64.9 percent last school year, up from 63.6 percent in 2016-17 and 62.7 percent in 2015-16, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) reported in its annual memorandum. The LFB is estimating the state share in 2018-19 at 65.4 percent for public schools. There’s also a memo on the estimated school tax levy credits for 2018-19. Governor-Elect Evers has expressed hope of returning to state two-thirds funding for public schools during his administration.