MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The two-year budget signed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday calls for a wide range of cuts, but no general tax increases, to balance a $3 billion shortfall while also eliminating a number of Democratic-backed laws enacted in recent years.
Here are some highlights:
— Does not include any state sales or income tax increases and would limit schools and local governments on how much they could raise property taxes. Property taxes on owners of median-valued homes are projected to increase just $54 over two years.
— Income tax credits for poor families with two or more children would be reduced by $56 million over two years, a move Democrats described as a tax increase.
— Household income levels to qualify for a homestead tax credit for poor home owners and renters would be frozen, saving the state more than $13 million over two years.
— Creates a new capital gains tax deferral for investments in Wisconsin-based companies worth $36 million over two years.
— Creates a new tax credit for manufacturers and agricultural businesses worth about $129 million a year once fully phased in starting in 2016.
— Loosens taxes charged to multistate corporations, a break to them worth more than $46 million over two years.
— Creates a new sales tax exemption for advertising and promotional direct mail starting in 2013. That break, which Democrats derided as helping purveyors of junk mail, is worth $500,000 a year.
— Cuts $500 million from Medicaid through a variety of reforms including increasing co-pays and deductibles, but not by reducing benefits across the board or cutting provider reimbursement rates.
— Rejects Walker's proposal to require participants in the SeniorCare prescription drug program to first enroll in Medicare Part D.
— Cuts aid to schools by about $800 million over two years and also reduces how much schools can collect from property taxes per student, a combined cut expected to reduce revenue to districts by about $1.6 billion.
— Repeals the enrollment limit for voucher schools in Milwaukee and expands vouchers to suburban Milwaukee schools and to Racine.
— Cuts University of Wisconsin funding by $250 million, but keeps the flagship Madison campus as part of the system while giving it and other campuses more freedom in how it spends money and operates.
— Ends the Wisconsin Covenant program, one of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's signature initiatives, on Sept. 30. The program promises financial aid for college to middle school students who promise to stay out of trouble and earn decent grades. Students who sign up for the program before Sept. 30 could still participate. Walker argues this change would protect other forms of financial aid from cuts.
— Children of illegal immigrants who attend state universities and colleges could no longer pay in-state tuition, a benefit granted in the 2009 budget by Democrats then in control of the Legislature and the governor's office.
— Cuts aid to technical colleges by 30 percent, or $72 million.
— Increases transportation funding by 1.2 percent.
— Provides $225 million to rebuild the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee.
— Provides $195 million to continue reconstruction of Interstate 94 between Milwaukee and Kenosha.
LAW AND ORDER
— Closes the Ethan Allen School, a detention facility for boys, and move inmates to Lincoln Hills School in Lincoln County.
— Closes the Southern Oaks Girls School, a detention facility for girls, and move the inmates to Copper Lake School at Lincoln Hills.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
— Keeps hunting and fishing license fees unchanged.
— Continues to require local recycling programs and maintains state funding to help subsidize it.
— Reduce by $26 million a year what is available to be spent on the Stewardship Program, the primary program to protect land from development and preserve it for recreational use by the public.
— Ends public financing in races for governor, Legislature and state Supreme Court.
— Cuts aid to local governments by $76 million.
— State spending under the $66 billion plan would increase 1.8 percent over the two year plan.
— Cuts most state agency budgets, except for salary and benefits, by 10 percent.
— Eliminates 1,032 state positions, most of which have been vacant for more than a year.
— Downsizes the state treasurer and secretary of state's offices, moving many of their existing duties elsewhere. The EdVest college savings program would be removed from the treasurer's office while the secretary of state office would lose its responsibility to handle trademark and trade name registrations and notary public commissions.
— Leaves the state with a $306 million surplus.
Source: Legislative Fiscal BureauTags: