Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday that his administration has reached an agreement with Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), and Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester).
The tentative compromise reached Thursday is regarding shared revenue, one of the most significant sources of funding provided by the state to local governments, contingent upon several provisions detailed below, including a historic investment in K-12 schools and education, officials said.
Gov. Evers and Republican leaders negotiated throughout much of last night to reach a compromise on shared revenue that includes a 20 percent increase in support to communities of every size statewide.
“For too long, our communities have been asked to do more with less, and this agreement is critical to ensure our local partners have the resources they need to meet basic and unique needs alike. After working through much of last night, I have reached a tentative agreement with both Majority Leader LeMahieu and Speaker Vos on major provisions of a compromise on shared revenue that will mean historic increases in support for our local communities across Wisconsin,” said Gov. Evers.
“This compromise will be transformative for our communities and our state, and coming to an agreement in principle on major parts of this proposal is a significant milestone in my negotiations with Republican leaders over the past few months,” Evers added.
The compromise reached by Gov. Evers and Majority Leader LeMahieu and Speaker Vos also contains provisions ensuring the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are enabled with the tools, flexibility, and resources to avoid insolvency, including requiring a two-thirds vote by the City of Milwaukee Common Council and the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors to implement a local sales tax of 2 percent for the city of Milwaukee and 0.4 percent for Milwaukee County, officials added.
“One of the most important priorities in my conversations with Republican leaders has been not only investing in communities of every size statewide, but also the importance of ensuring the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County do not face an imminent fiscal cliff—something that would have devastating consequences for communities in every corner of our state and our state economy as a whole,” Evers noted.
“It’s why it has been especially important for me that this compromise provides the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County the critical opportunity to avoid the imminent possibility of bankruptcy,” Evers added.
In addition to making historic investments in local communities of every size across Wisconsin, the tentative agreement also builds upon Evers’ work to do what’s best for kids with historic budget investments in K-12 education statewide by:
• Providing more than $1 billion in spendable revenue for K-12 education to maintain two-thirds funding, including a $325 per pupil increase in each fiscal year on revenue limits;
• Setting aside $50 million to improve reading and literacy outcomes for K-12 students (details for exact implementation of the funding have not yet been determined);
• Providing a per pupil aid increase for choice and independent charter schools;
• Investing $30 million over the biennium to continue the governor’s initiative to support school-based mental health services statewide;
• Reaching 33.3% reimbursement for special education; and
• Increasing the low revenue ceiling from $10,000 to $11,000 per student.
“What’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state, and I will never stop trying to do the right thing for our kids,” said Gov. Evers.
“This compromise ensures we make a historic investment in this budget for K-12 schools and education, providing more than $1 billion that can be used for our kids in the classroom, while also working to improve literacy and reading outcomes and support school-based mental health services statewide,” Evers added.