Legislature Passes 2019-2021 State Budget

This week, the State Legislature finished its deliberations on the state budget. On June 25, the State Assembly passed the comprehensive spending bill on a 60 to 39 vote with all Democrats and three Republicans voting in opposition. Debate on the bill lasted over 10 hours. The State Senate passed the bill yesterday, June 26, … Read more

Joint Committee on Finance Concludes Budget Work

Joint Committee on Finance Concludes Budget Work This afternoon, the Joint Committee on Finance completed its work on the 2019-2021 biennial state budget. The committee’s budget work began over three months following Governor Tony Evers’ budget address on February 28. The Joint Committee on Finance began its work in March by receiving testimony from state … Read more

Lawsuit, Budget Battle & Surplus Revenue

State Files Lawsuit Against Purdue Pharma

On May 16, Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul announced the state has filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma and its former president and chairman Richard Sackler. The state is alleging Purdue Pharma and Sackler purposefully misled the public about the dangers of its opioid products by downplaying the negative addictive nature of those products. Wisconsin joined Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, and West Virginia in filing lawsuits against Purdue and Sackler last week.

The lawsuit is in reaction to the statewide opioid epidemic, which the state is alleging is at least in part the result of Purdue Pharma’s false advertising. According to the filed suit, 7,500 Wisconsin citizens died due to opioid overdoses from 2000 to 2017, and the cost of combating the state’s opioid epidemic has been “enormous” according to Kaul.

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Joint Committee on Finance & Lame Duck Legislative Battle Updates

Joint Committee on Finance to Remove Medicaid Expansion from Budget Proposal

On May 1, Senator Alberta Darling (R – River Hills) and Representative John Nygren (R – Marinette), co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance, released a memo explaining the committee’s voting process. According to the memo, the Joint Committee on Finance will begin voting on May 9. The committee will begin by considering some of the smaller agencies and divisions.

However, its first item of business will be to vote on removing over 70 provisions that have been identified as policy items. Every budget cycle, the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau scrutinizes the governor’s budget proposal to identify which items are considered non-fiscal policy rather than strictly budgetary and funding proposals.

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Republican Lawmakers Reject Evers’ Capital Budget

Republican Lawmakers Reject Evers’ Capital Budget In early March Governor Tony Evers introduced his Capital Budget, which specifically enumerates over 80 state construction projects from new state office buildings to new buildings for the UW System to replacing bathroom facilities at state parks. On Wednesday, March 20 the budget went before the State Building Commission, … Read more

Judge Rules 2018 Lame Duck Session Illegal

Judge Rules 2018 Lame Duck Session Illegal AG Kaul Withdraws State from ACA Lawsuit On Thursday, March 21, Dane County Circuit Court Judge Richard Niess issued an injunction against the legislation passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker in December 2018. In doing so, Niess prevented the laws from being enforced. Niess … Read more