He's said his goal is to help close a $3.6 billion deficit, and it's likely we'll hear about more controversial cuts during his speech.
WISC-Madison reports that education funding will take a huge hit:
Capitol watchers said that statewide school aid will likely see a cut of at least $900 million, which amounts to a loss of nearly $500 per pupil in the biennial budget's second year. School aid makes up about 45 percent of Wisconsin's budget, with funds funneled to local governments making up another large portion.WisPolitics sources have more details on a property tax cap, cuts to the University of Wisconsin system and limits on medical assistance:
[Sources say the budget] will call for a strict property tax cap that would largely only allow increases for new construction. The provision would allow local governments to exceed the cap through referendum. Walker has said that's why his plan to severely limit collective bargaining rights is so important, but many local officials say they would need the ability to control police and firefighter personnel costs, too, something Walker exempts.There may be even more to say about health care. The Appleton Post-Crescent has reported that Walker's previously released budget repair bill gives the Department of Health unprecedented control of the state's Medicaid program:
Sources say the guv will also call for requiring those on Medical Assistance programs like BadgerCare to pay more for the services they receive as their incomes rise. Some benefits will also be scaled back, and the guv is expected to limit the Family Care program.
Between the cut in local aids, the $300 million Walker expects to save from higher pension and health care contributions from state employees and the [$250 million] cut to the UW System, the guv would solve roughly half of the state's projected $3.6 billion shortfall. He's also expected to largely reject agency requests for new spending.
[H]ealth care advocates fear little-noticed provisions in the proposal could kick 63,000 people off Medicaid rolls next year and grant the administration near-unilateral authority over the state's Medicaid system through 2015.Walker may have additional words for Wisconsin's Senate Democrats, who remain outside the state to prevent the legislature from obtaining the quorum required to vote on a bill that would limit collective bargaining rights.
Walker's budget repair plan would empower the state Department of Health Services to set up "emergency rules" on Medicaid eligibility and co-payment limits that would supersede state law, all under "passive review" from the state Legislature.
He has already threatened to fire up to 12,000 school, state and local employees unless Democrats return to vote on a pending measure to restructure the state's debt. As for the missing Dems, it looks like most of them will watch Walker's speech from their locations outside the state -- although some of them are reportedly talking to their GOP colleagues about a potential return.
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