Press Releases

Todd A. Berry or Dale J. Knapp
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Evaluating Fiscal Fundamentals of 2011-13 State Budget

Some Spending Still Up Under Proposed Austerity Plan

March 24, 2011

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After years of state budget problems, does the proposed 2011-13 state budget close a multibillion-dollar deficit and improve the state’s long-term fiscal health? "That is the key budget question that has gone largely unanswered as interest groups have recently focused on specific programs. As it turns out," Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) President Todd A. Berry notes, "the answer is yes . . . and no." In coming to that conclusion, a new WISTAX analysis focuses on budget fundamentals—spending trends, budget reserves, deficits, and structural imbalances in future years.

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Todd A. Berry or Dale J. Knapp
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Supreme Court Candidates: Judicial Background, Experience, Philosophy

WISTAX Releases Candidate Responses

March 14, 2011

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On Tuesday, April 5, Wisconsin voters will elect a nonpartisan supreme court justice to serve until 2021. Voters will choose between Justice David Prosser and state Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg. Kloppenburg has been a litigator and prosecutor at the Department of Justice since 1989, and Prosser has served on the supreme court since his appointment in 1998.

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Todd A. Berry or Kyle C. Christianson
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Wisconsin’s Medicaid Enrollment Growth Ranked Second Nationally

Annual State Medicaid Spending Growth Here Averaged 8.0% Annually During 1998 Through 2009

February 28, 2011

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Wisconsin has 1.2 million people enrolled in Medicaid, at an annual cost of more than $2 billion to the state—only K-12 school aids now account for a larger share of the general fund budget. Since 1998, Medicaid enrollment here increased 191%, or an average of 9.3% annually. Although the economic recession drove Medicaid enrollments higher in recent years, a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), “Wisconsin Medicaid Trends and Comparisons,” finds Wisconsin’s enrollment increased faster than all but one state’s from 2001 through 2009. WISTAX is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to public policy research and education.

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Todd A. Berry or Dale J. Knapp
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

Administrative Costs Generally Higher for Small Districts

Number of Part-Time Superintendents on the Rise

February 8, 2011

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Wisconsin’s smallest school districts—those with fewer than 500 students—spent an average of $1,273 per student, or 10.3% of operational spending, on administration, compared to less than $900 per student for districts with 4,000 or more students. A new study from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) shows that higher per student spending in 2010 comes despite small districts generally having fewer administrators and even part-time superintendents. The report, “School Administrators Wear Many Hats,” examines school administrative expenditures, as well as the salaries and benefits of school administrators. WISTAX is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization dedicated to citizen education.

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Todd A. Berry or Kyle C. Christianson
608-241-9789
wistax@wistax.org

38 New Legislators . . . New Legislative Majority in 2011

GOP Holds 19-14 Senate Advantage, 60-38-1 Assembly Majority

December 28, 2010

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After losing seats in both 2006 and 2008, Republicans picked up four state senate and 14 assembly seats in the 2010 elections. In the new session, the GOP holds a 19-14 seat advantage in the senate and a 60-38-1 majority in the assembly. A new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), “New Legislature . . . New Direction?” recaps November election results and previews the incoming legislature. Now in its 79th year, WISTAX is a nonprofit, nonpartisan private research organization dedicated to citizen education.

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