What's New

  • The 2015-17 state budget (II): Basic nuts and bolts

    Lawmakers have begun review of the governor’s proposed 2015-17 budget. Although they will focus on program details, several basic budget figures also merit attention. First, the pending budget has slim balances - "less than 1% of spending, levels last seen during 2001-11. Contingency reserves are also modest. The state’s GAAP deficits, which had fallen from $3.0b to $1.4b, would grow to $2.0b.

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  • The 2015-17 state budget (I): Getting to now

    To understand the pending 2015-17 budget, one must understand its roots. This year, state spending will exceed revenues by as much as $800 million. As a result, the $759 million surplus of two years ago is gone. The state expects over $1.9 billion in new tax revenues during 2015-17, but most of that will be used to fix carryover budget imbalances, or to fund Medicaid and property tax credits.

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  • BLOG: Rising transportation debt service crowds out local aids

    State highways and local transportation aids are Wisconsin's two largest transportation expenditures. An important development over the past 15 years has been debt service "crowding out" those aids.

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  • BLOG: Basic State Budget Questions

    Gov. Scott Walker (R) recently unveiled his 2015-17 budget calling for $32 billion in general fund spending. Now, the legislature has begun its three-month review.

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  • TAXPAYER: Wisconsin's Evolving Technical Colleges

    Wisconsin is home to the nation’s oldest technical college system, which was established in 1911 to enable residents to obtain training for technical and skilled positions and to encourage economic development. Since then, many states have established technical and community colleges of their own. The structure of these institutions varies widely by state, particularly in how they are funded and governed. This is now an issue in Wisconsin.

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  • BLOG: A brief look at state borrowing

    Governor Walker (R) is requesting to borrow about $1.3 billion for transportation over the next two years. A look at borrowing authorizations in past budgets puts this figure in perspective.

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Chipping Away at Tradition: Constitutional Offices Past and Present

When Wisconsin became a state in 1848, the new constitution created six positions to be elected statewide: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and the superintendent of public instruction. As time passed, the duties and responsibilities of these offices have evolved and, in some cases, eroded. Some question whether or not all these offices need to be elected.

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Now Available: The WISTAX 2015-16 Legislative & Congressional Directory. Get Yours Today!

The all-new 2015-16 Legislative and Congressional Directory includes names, district maps, office phone numbers, home addresses and most recent election results for all 132 members of the Wisconsin legislature. It  also includes the names of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, contact information and maps of their districts.


Every citizen's guide to the state budget process: The Framework of Your Wisconsin Government handbook

The best guide to Wisconsin state, county, city, village, town and school governments and budgets.

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