Press Release

Governor Evers’ 2021-23 biennial budget bill not only contains items that would provide relief to Wisconsinites throughout the state, it also gives Wisconsinites hope that our state has begun its recovery from the pandemic. This budget shows that Governor Evers and his administration are committed to making Wisconsin a better and safer place for all residents to live, work, and learn. I was extremely pleased by Governor Evers’ 2021-23 biennial budget bill, as many of the governor’s proposals would directly help residents of Northwestern Wisconsin.

I wanted to share some of the items in the governor’s biennial budget relating to veterans, seniors, the environment, our local economy and workers, and education that I am especially enthusiastic about. I am advocating for these items to remain in the final version of the budget because I believe they would greatly benefit those living in the 73rd Assembly District.

Support for Wisconsin’s Veterans

  • Add seven new full-time positions to expand the Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program
  • Provide $100,000 annually to the Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program for improved outreach relating to suicide prevention and awareness for veterans in underserved communities
  • Remove the seven-year wait period after discharge for when veterans may apply for the Hire Heroes program
  • Increase county veterans service officer grants by five percent to improve service to veterans
  • Expand the veterans and surviving spouses property tax credit to renters

Assistance for our Seniors

  • Increase community aid funding and expand eligibility for the Alzheimer’s Family and Caregiver Support Program
  • Expand the Dementia Care Specialists program to all aging and disability resource centers
  • Expand BadgerCare to 138 percent of the federal poverty level so thousands more Wisconsinites have access to health care coverage
  • Expand eligibility for homestead tax credit to provide tax relief to more low-income seniors and those with disabilities
  • Create an income tax credit for those who cover the expenses related to care or support for a family member over the age of 18 who requires daily assistance
  • Require insurance coverage to be the same for telehealth treatment and services as they would be for in-person treatment and services

Protecting the Environment and Improving Access to the Outdoors

  • Provide funding for the Lake Superior Research Institute for the development of a long-term partnership program to collaborate with northern communities and address local environmental health concerns
  • Extend the Warren Knowles-Gaylord Nelson Stewardship Program 10 years, providing $70 million per year
  • Waive admission fee to state parks for 4th grade students and their families
  • Allow ATV, UTV, and snowmobile related application documents to be submitted online
  • Allow a Wisconsin DOT issued ID card to establish residency for DNR approval of certain activities such as hunting
  • Raise the price of a waterfowl hunting stamp from $6.75 to $11.75 to put more money towards wetland conservation and waterfowl production efforts
  • Require DNR to provide financial assistance for containers for disposal of deer carcasses
  • Increase funding for projects to remove contaminated sediment from impaired waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and their tributaries
  • Create a Great Lakes Erosion Control loan program to assist municipalities and homeowners on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Superior

Supporting our Local Economy and Wisconsin’s Workers

  • Establish the Better City Superior Exposition District to boost local tourism and economic development
  • Increase the state minimum wage, doing so gradually until it reaches $10.15 on or after January 1, 2024
  • Allow counties to increase sales taxes by an additional 0.5 percent, if supported and approved by a local referendum
  • Expand the Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act
  • Remove the requirement that union recertification be approved by a majority of union members rather than the majority of those present to vote
  • Eliminate the annual recertification requirement for state and local government bargaining units
  • Require employers to meet with representatives of collective bargaining units at least quarterly or when there are changes in policies relating to wages, hours, and working conditions
  • Repeal the prohibition on contracts between labor unions and employers that say the employer may only hire unionized workers

Investing in Higher Education

  • Provide UW System with $2.5 million for student mental and behavioral health services
  • Recognize relocated active duty service members, their spouses, and their dependents as state residents eligible for resident tuition at UW System institutions and technical colleges
  • Allow certain students who are members of, or whose parents or grandparents are members of, an American Indian tribe to qualify for resident tuition
  • Provides funding for a UW freshwater collaborative with each UW institution
  • Extend the UW System tuition freeze through the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years

Investing in Primary and Secondary Education

  • Restore two-thirds funding for school districts
  • Provide the largest increase in state aid to school districts since the 2005-07 biennium
  • Increase per pupil revenue limits and per pupil aid
  • Increase special education aid
  • Expand eligibility for the payments under the pupil mental health aid program to include spending on school counselors, social workers, and nurses
  • Expand and increase instruction on American Indian tribes and bands in Wisconsin

I look forward to working with members of the Joint Finance Committee in the coming months to ensure items like these, which would truly help Wisconsinites, remain in our budget. For more information on these and other budget proposals in Governor Evers’ 2021-23 biennial budget, I encourage you to visit the Department of Administration’s Budget in Brief document at this link.


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