Here are some numbers regarding the 2013-15 state budget as crafted by Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature----reported in July by Bill Leuders, the Money and Project Director at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism:
- The number of non-fiscal items in the budget, as initially identified by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau: 58
- Number of these items removed by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee: 23
- Number added by Joint Finance: 59
- Total value of the 25 budget items flagged by the fiscal bureau as “earmarks” ( expenditures or breaks with specific beneficiaries): $55 million
- Percentage of the $651 million in tax cuts included in the budget that will go to taxpayers making more than $100,000 a year: 55%
- Additional amount state taxpayers will pay because of the decision by the Walker administration, backed by the Legislature, to reject available federal funds for Medicaid expansion, as estimated by the Fiscal Bureau: $119 million
- Amount the budget will shift from other sources, including local mass transit systems and an environmental inspection fund, to pay for transportation, according to the Fiscal Bureau: $445 million
- Estimated amount of lost revenue over the next two years from a provision to eliminate a $115 contractor registration fee, along with the requirement that construction contractors must register with the state: $1 million
And how much will the state save from budget provisions barring local governments from:
- requiring their employees to live in the communities where they work?
- passing erosion controls that are stricter than those in state law?
- restricting food and nonalcoholic beverage sales based on calories, portion size or nutritional value?
You guessed it: Zero
Speaking of numbers----
In his January 2013 Journal Sentinel op-ed titled Your legislators, by the numbers, Steven Walters, senior producer for WisconsinEye, provided some data about our 2013-14 Wisconsin lawmakers, such as:
Legislators are paid $49,943 per year; Lawmakers also claim $88 per day for food and lodging expenses when on official business, Dane County-area legislators can claim $44 per day. Expense stipends are tax-exempt
33 of the 131 legislators are women
Average Senate age: 57, “making this the oldest Senate since at least 1943,” according to the Legislative Reference Bureau. Senators range in age from 32 to 85
Average Assembly age: 49 with an age range of 25 to 72
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