The Wisconsin State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) continues to review Gov. Scott Walker’s 2017-2019 biennial budget proposal, meeting twice each week to vote on various provisions. This afternoon JFC took up the major Medicaid parts of the budget, including the Governor’s proposal to provide an additional $279 million over the biennium in “costs to continue”—essentially maintaining the status quo in Medicaid for covered services, eligibility and reimbursement.
The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau writes decision papers on the various issues that come before JFC, with each paper providing different alternatives for the legislature’s consideration. Today’s Medicaid-related papers can be seen here. At press time, JFC is in recess to review a Medicaid program omnibus motion that includes parts from the LFB papers as well as stand-alone items. It’s expected that the motion will be approved following debate.
Joint Finance will continue to hold voting sessions over the next few weeks. It appears the transportation area of the budget will be the most controversial, with strong philosophical differences remaining among Assembly Republicans, Senate Republicans and the Governor on how to fund the state’s transportation needs. Once JFC has voted on all budget areas, the budget bill as amended will head to both houses of the legislature for final approval. Gov. Walker will then have a veto review period, with the ability to line-item those items that contain an appropriation. The 2017-2019 fiscal biennium begins on July 1; the goal is to have the budget in effect by that date.
Contact Mark Grapentine, JD, in the Society’s Government and Legal Affairs department with any questions.
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