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Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Joint Finance Committee Completes Budget Action with Major Tax Relief

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) completed action on the 2013-2015 state budget June 5, 2013.  Final items within the JFC budget include:

 

Tax Relief

JFC approved $650 million in income tax relief to Wisconsin taxpayers.  Currently, Wisconsin has five income tax brackets.  The JFC budget reduces that number to four.  All brackets will see a reduction in rates and relief to all Wisconsin income tax payers.  The tax code is simplified by federalizing portions of Wisconsin’s tax code.  With these reforms, Wisconsin is anticipated to lose distinction as one the top ten high taxed states.

 

Medical Assistance (MA)

All Wisconsin residents will have access to healthcare via state funded medical assistance or Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges.  Individuals earning less than 100% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for state MA.  Individuals earning more than 100% of the federal poverty level will be eligible for healthcare via ACA exchanges.  The committee approved maintaining the current state MA programs until ACA exchanges are operational.  The end result is all Wisconsinites have access to healthcare.

 

Education

JFC approved increased funding to K-12 public schools.  The budget provides $150 per pupil increase during fiscal year 2013-2014 and an additional $150 per pupil increase during fiscal year 2014-2015.

 

JFC approved expanding school choice statewide, increased funding for vouchers, increased funding for charter schools, and $30 million tax deductions to offset tuition expenses for parents paying tuition for non-public schools.  Hard working families paying hefty property taxes for public schools, in addition to private school tuition, will see some relief.

 

What’s Next
JFC’s 2013-2015 approved budget, also known as Assembly Bill 40 (AB 40), is forwarded to the State Assembly for action.  After the Assembly takes action, AB 40 will move to the State Senate.  Upon completion of Senate action, the budget goes to the Governor for signature.   The end of the current budget cycle is June 30, 2013. This next budget will be in effect July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2015. 

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