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Capitol Eyes 7.1.21

Cap Eyes 4.30.20
Jul 01, 2021
By Tom Harrington
Under:
  • Advocacy

Legislators Vote on Wisconsin's State Budget This Week

This week, the Wisconsin State Legislature will wrap up their work on the state's 2021-2023 budget. The bill then heads to Governor Evers' desk for him to apply line-item vetoes and sign it into law or veto the entire bill.

The budget includes funding for Cooperative Feasibility Studies, which The League requested in a letter with fellow associations for cooperatives. The League, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA), was also successful in preventing the introduction of a harmful proposal exempting merchants from paying interchange fees on the sales tax portion of a sale. 

See coalition letter to supporting Cooperative Feasibility Studies >>
See joint memo with WBA opposing interchange fee registration >>

Learn more about Wisconsin's budget bill in the summary from The League's contract lobby group The Kammer Group included below.

Legislators Thank Activists for Support from Political Advocacy Accounts

A number of legislators recently shared their appreciation for Activists’ support for their reelection. Together, your contributions – of any size – to support credit unions’ political advocacy accounts, strengthens our influence and ability to support candidates who are allies to The Movement.

Consider a donation or increasing your current giving to credit unions’ PACs or your personal Members’ Conduit account through the Fundraising Account Options page on The League’s website or by making a credit card contribution through the Grassroots Action Center

Congressman Grothman Votes with Credit Unions Against OCC Rule

Last week, the House voted to disapprove a Trump-era rule from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Among other concerns, the rule could create a loophole which can be used to evade state restrictions on high interest rates or loan terms.

After outreach from The League and CUNA, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah) voted in favor of the resolution. Notably, Rep. Grothman was the only member of Congress to cross party lines with his vote. See 'Recommended Reading,' below, for more on the vote. 

CUNA letter outlining credit unions' concerns with OCC 'True Lender' Rule >>

Insights from The Kammer Group

Lawmakers Poised to Vote on State Budget 

The Senate and Assembly are expected to pass the 2021-23 biennial budget next week as the state’s fiscal year comes to a close.  Governor Evers will then either veto the bill in its entirety or, more likely, use his expansive partial veto authority to reshape the document before signing it.  Last budget cycle, the budget was partially vetoed and signed one week after passage.  
 
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau recently released an analysis of the changes made to the Evers’ budget by the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee, finding the GOP plan spends $3.7 billion less in all funds compared to Evers while approving 483 fewer positions.  The LFB comparative summary shows the committee's proposal would spend $87.5 billion in state and federal funds, an increase of $4.5 billion compared to current law. It also would approve 71,306 full-time equivalent positions.  
 
While the GOP budget would increase DPI spending by $678.5 million compared to current law, it spends $1 billion less in all funds on the Department of Public Instruction than what Evers was seeking.  The level of K-12 funding approved by Republicans will be a major consideration for Governor Evers as he weighs veto options.  
 
Two years ago, Evers artfully used his veto pen to modify 78 provisions and redirect roughly $65 million from various programs to boost K-12 spending before signing the budget into law.   
 
Another major difference between Evers and GOP plan is with the Department of Health Services, where Republican’s would spend nearly $1.4 billion less than the governor, due in part to the committee’s decision to reject federal funding to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  The JFC budget would increase spending in DHS by $3.5 billion compared to current law.  The Assembly is expected to take-up the budget on Tuesday followed by the Senate on Wednesday.

About The Author

Tom Harrington is the Political & Grassroots Specialist for The Wisconsin Credit Union League.