MacIver News Service | June 14, 2019
The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) concluded their hearings on the 2019-21 biennial budget with a final vote on a GOP tax proposal Thursday. The budget will now move on to the Assembly floor with hopes of reaching Gov. Evers’ office. Keep up with the ongoing budget debate by following MacIver on Twitter.
This week, the JFC beefed up statewide building projects; Trump offered relief to the biotech industry; and a hefty transportation package was passed through the JFC, which worried some fiscal hawks, but an effort is also afoot to offset those concerns with DOT reforms. Before you tune into the U.S. Open, here are some important articles for the fiscal conservative, in case you missed it.
The 2019-21 budget is nearing a wrap after the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee approved a record-breaking $1.9 billion spending plan on statewide building projects. The University of Wisconsin System will receive the bulk of these funds for a vast slate of building projects. Democrats were generally in support of the GOP plan, thanking them for taking Gov. Evers’ lead. Fiscal conservatives, however, feel uneasy about the massive spending increases and tax hikes. There is some uncertainty whether the GOP budget can pass – especially in the Senate – and reach Evers.
Some farmers have been caught in the middle of the trade war with China, and President Trump signed an executive order to help improve the farmers’ bottom line. This executive order is meant to streamline regulations and cut costs with biotechnology. China now faces pressure to lift barriers in the biotech industry. Farmers will most likely improve their bottom line and benefit from Trump’s decision.
Every Wisconsite is aware that the state must “fix the damn roads,” in the salty language of Gov. Evers, and the Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee claims to do just that with a $484 million transportation package. However, some fiscal hawks are hesitant to support the massive package. They feel this revenue boost for the Department of Transportation is too expensive for an agency without enough accountability and in need of reform.
The hefty transportation funding package passed by JFC Republicans left many fiscal conservatives concerned about the lack of reform within the Department of Transportation. The “Road to Sustainability Package” would be a much-needed step towards DOT reform. Tuesday morning Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) discussed six bills in the package. These bills seek to increase competition by raising the number of bidders, create better accountability, and make the DOT more efficient.
Hiring and wage growth have been slowing down in the country, but is not necessarily time to panic on the economy. The trade tensions between the United States and China have slowed down the global economy, and these recent slowdown can be attributed to the conflict. But overall, the economy is still in a strong position, despite remaining fears.