July Legislative Update
  • On July 5, Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced his signing of 2023 Act 19, the Wisconsin state budget for the 2023-25 fiscal biennium, which began July 1. The two-year budget, assembled by the Republican-led Joint Committee on Finance, appropriates $97.4 billion. For comparison, the 2021-23 budget allocated $87.5 billion.
  • Key components of the budget for WPRA members include:
    • Local Revenue Reform: Signed in law as 2023 Wisconsin Act 12; Locals held harmless at current amounts + new supplemental aid + innovation grants; Repeals the personal property tax; Milwaukee specific sales tax; Limitations on Stewardship projects north of Highway 8. 
    • Unobligated Stewardship Balance: Due to the Governor’s line-item veto, DNR is now allowed to use any stewardship bonding authority that lapsed from any year’s annual allotments for the land acquisition, property development and local assistance, and recreational boating aids subprograms to fund projects that could include facility improvements and renovations, construction of new buildings, and drilling wells.
    • Trails: Expected increase in base Transportation Alternative Program funding to $18 million annually; 9.75 million in funding for trail maintenance and repairs across the state; $25 million in bridge replacement/repair funding.
    • Local Project Grant Program: $50 million program under the Building Commission; requires a “statewide public purpose” and a 50% match requirement.
  • Following the budget passage, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau released new estimates for the state’s general fund – projecting a balance of just over $4 billion at the end of the 2024-25 fiscal year.