Defend Wisconsin News Round Up

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the Scott Walker's Budget:

Walker's budget, item by item

Provide $1 million for raises for prosecutors.

• Provide $770,300 for more DNA analysts.

• Set aside $1.04 million to investigate Internet crimes against children.

• Cut $52.6 million from corrections.

• Provide $993,800 for more public defenders.

• Saves money by closing two juvenile correctional facilities - Ethan Allen School for Boys in the Town of Delafield and Southern Oaks Girls School in Union Grove - and consolidating operations at the Lincoln Hills facility in Irma.

• Repeal all mechanisms that would allow any early release of state inmates from prison, extended supervision or probation.

• Count on broad saving from lower prison population, which follows national trend.


• Cut $834 million in state K-12 education spending over the next two years.

• Phase out income requirements and eliminate enrollment cap for Milwaukee school choice program, and make schools across county eligible.

• No change in the "funding flaw" under which voucher expenses are deducted from Milwaukee's state aid, even though no aid is granted to Milwaukee for those voucher-school students.

• Remove the requirement that MPS teachers reside in Milwaukee.

• Eliminate the minimum 180-day requirement for public school calendars, a measure that could open the way for some districts to initiate four-day school weeks. Districts would continue to meet a minimum instructional hour requirement.

• Repeal the limit on the numbers of students who could use the state's open enrollment system to attend a virtual charter school in another district.

• Allow any four-year University of Wisconsin campus to sponsor an independent charter school.

• Require that charter school teachers need only a bachelor's degree to teach, rather than a teacher's license.

• Remove mandates that school districts employ reading specialists and only licensed nurses with bachelor's degrees; prepare indoor environmental quality plans; and require training on drug administration to be approved by the state Department of Public Instruction.


• Cut UW-Madison funding by 13% while giving the university autonomy from the UW System.

• Cut funding to other UW campuses by 11%. Systemwide cut: $250 million over two years.

• Spend $250,000 creating plan for UW-Milwaukee to split from UW System.

• Cut $71.6 million from the state's technical college system.


• Completely exempt from state taxes capital gains stemming from long-term investments in Wisconsin businesses.

• Allow deferral of tax payments on any capital gain as long as the money is reinvested in a Wisconsin business. Estimated cost over the biennium: $36 million.

• Cut $46 million in business taxes over two years by allowing companies more liberal treatment of losses to offset tax bills.

• Provide $196 million in funding for the new Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The partly private agency will replace the state Commerce Department and, Walker believes, will help make Wisconsin more business-friendly.


• Cut county and municipal aid payments by $96 million in 2012 calendar year.

• Cap county and municipal levy increases at the greater of 0% or the gain in value due to net new construction.

• Extend levy limits for two years.

• Remove requirement that a municipality or county operate a recycling program to manage solid waste in compliance with disposal restrictions and eliminate financial assistance program for local government recycling programs.


• Allocate $225 million to reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange. Money will cover engineering expenses, preparing for 2013 start of construction.

• Cut general transportation aid for counties and municipalities by 10%.

• Direct revenue from motor vehicle sales taxes into transportation fund instead of general fund.

• Put $59.1 million into expansion of I-39/90 in Rock and Dane counties and authorize three other highway projects in Racine, Milwaukee, Winnebago, Calumet and Outagamie counties.

• Provide aid to transit systems out of the state's general fund, instead of using gas tax dollars.


• Cut payments to W-2 participants by $20 a month and impose stricter work requirements.

• Start waiting list for Wisconsin Shares state child care subsidy and increase co-payments by parents.

• Tighten eligibility standards for Medicaid programs to slow state cost increases.

• Limit Family Care program to current enrollees.


• Move authority over soil erosion for commercial sites from DNR to a new agency, Department of Safety and Professional Services.

• Provide $5 million to clean up contaminated sediments in the Great Lakes and their tributaries.

• No change in the price of hunting and fishing licenses.

• Make cuts in the stewardship fund, the state's land acquisition program.


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