Progress toward passage of the state’s 2017-2019 biennial budget stalled this week as Gov. Scott Walker and state legislature Republicans negotiate differences in how to fund major spending areas such as transportation and K-12 school.
The Joint Committee on Finance (JCF), which has been meeting fairly regularly since the beginning of May to approve or alter provisions in Gov. Walker’s budget submission, did not convene this week. Instead, leaders from both the executive and legislative branches of government aired their differences in the press, e.g. this article and this article and on social media.
The JCF did reach agreement on a Medicaid funding package at its May 25 meeting. If the State Assembly and State Senate choose to draft their own biennial budget proposals, it is unclear if the JCF-approved package will be included as-is in either chamber’s offering. Unlikely as it seemed just last month, the prospect of an Assembly-Senate conference committee is beginning to loom over the budget – a process that is often rancorous and is usually avoided when leaders are from the same political party.
The state’s 2017-2019 biennium begins July 1; if a budget isn’t enacted by then, state government continues to function under an extension of the previous biennium’s expenditures.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs Department for more information.
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