Overall budget and taxes

  • $83.5 billion over two years. If you double the budget for this year, that’s an increase of $6.2 billion over two years.
  • 71,991 total full-time equivalent positions in 2021, an increase of 701 positions.
  • $82.1 million for 2 percent raises for state employees over each of the next two years.
  • $551 million net tax increase, mostly on capital gains and manufacturers. Includes an $834 million income tax cut, saving an average recipient $217.

Governors' budget proposals


  • Raise gas tax by 8 cents a gallon, partially offset by eliminating the state’s minimum markup on motor fuel.
  • Index the gas tax to inflation starting in 2020.
  • Increase heavy truck registration fees and title fee on original or transfer vehicle titles.
  • Finish the Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee and start the expansion of Interstate 43 from two lanes to three in both direction in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties.

K-12 education

  • Establish “Fair Funding” formula that would provide districts with at least $3,000 per student, with additional aid weighted toward poorer districts.
  • Require teachers receive 45 minutes or a single class period each day for preparation.
  • Freeze enrollment in Milwaukee, Racine and statewide voucher programs at 2020-21 levels and phase out program for students with disabilities.
  • Add $606 million in special education funding.
  • Eliminate restrictions on the number of referendums districts may hold in a calendar year.
  • Repeal program that allows teachers to be licensed without having in-classroom teaching time.

Health services

  • Expand Medicaid to cover 82,000 more low-income people, saving $325 million over two years by bringing in additional federal money.
  • $580 million for hospitals, nursing homes and mental health services.
  • Legalize medical marijuana and allow CBD oil without doctor certification.
  • $43 million more for dental care, primarily through Medicaid incentive payments.
  • $28 million for women’s and infant health, primary by extending Medicaid coverage for women after birth from 60 days to a year. Restore funding to Planned Parenthood that was blocked by former Gov. Scott Walker.

Natural resources

  • Create a plan for finding out where drinking water is contaminated by toxic chemicals known as PFAS.
  • Add five full-time positions to oversee permitting, inspection and enforcement of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO), and increase fees paid by CAFOs.
  • Create a Bureau of Natural Resources Science with a director who reports to the DNR secretary and five scientists who would research areas related to water quality and contamination, all funded by grants.
  • Up to $40 million to help homeowners replace lead pipes.
  • $25 million to remove PCBs, DDT and heavy metals from sediment in five river basins.
  • $10.9 million to municipalities to manage stormwater.
  • $4 million in grants to control pollution around impaired waters and add four full-time DNR positions to coordinate efforts.
  • Add $1.6 million to a fund that helps people build new wells or take other steps when their drinking water is contaminated.

Criminal justice

  • Decriminalize having 25 grams or less of marijuana for recreational use and expunge previous convictions for that offense.
  • Raise the age of adult jurisdiction to 18 by 2021.
  • Push juvenile prison closure date back indefinitely.
  • Increase reimbursement rate for lawyers who offer public defender services to $70 per hour by 2020.
  • Add about 20 assistant district attorney positions.
  • Roll back lame-duck law preventing Attorney General from settling/withdrawing from lawsuits.

Higher education

  • Freeze University of Wisconsin System tuition for a seventh and eighth straight year.
  • Allow Wisconsin residents living in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition at both UW System and Wisconsin Technical College System schools.
  • Add about $110 million in funding to expand programming in high-demand fields, help fund the tuition freeze, provide a UW-Extension agricultural agent in every county that wants one and help nurse educators repay loans if they commit to teaching in a Wisconsin nursing program for three years.
  • $18 million more for the technical college system.

You have free articles remaining.

Become a Member

Register for more free articles
Stay logged in to skip the surveys

Children and families

  • Expand W-2 program lifetime limit to 60 months, up from 48 months, and for infants from 8 weeks to 12 weeks.
  • $23 million more per year for Shares, a subsidized child care program, and $15 million more for children and families in crisis.


  • Automatic voter registration coordinated with Department of Transportation.
  • Require universities and technical colleges to issue students IDs that are compliant with voter ID law.
  • Have nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau redraw legislative boundaries along with a five-member redistricting commission.

Economic development

  • Require Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to post all final contracts online within 30 days of each contract’s execution, including amendments.
  • Businesses getting state incentives for economic development projects have to disclose major changes to their plans and could not use state dollars to move jobs out of state.
  • Provide an additional 5 percent tax credit incentive for businesses to invest in renewable energy generation or energy efficient projects.
  • Direct WEDC to grant at least $1 million a year to regional economic development organizations.

Parks and tourism

  • Add an automatic renewal option for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses to reduce time the public spends on paperwork.
  • $600,000 for an Office of Outdoor Recreation to promote and improve economic benefits by attracting more tourists.
  • Add $1.4 million in spending on state park operations from park user fees to increase staffing at busy times and pay for supplies and costs of campsites with electrical hookups.
  • $5 million for out-of-state tourism marketing and $800,000 for promotional videos.


  • $1.4 million per year to replace UW-Extension ag agents cut by the UW System.
  • $300,000 and three positions to boost the state’s fledgling industrial hemp program.
  • Transfer $200,000 for grants to help farmers switch to a potentially more profitable organic dairy or beef operation. Also, add an organic and grazing specialist.
  • $100,000 annually to provide mental health assistance to farmers and their families.

Local government

  • Allow counties and municipalities to raise tax levies by up to 2 percent, regardless of growth.
  • Increase funding for municipal aids by 2 percent starting in 2020.
  • Allow a levy limit adjustment to local governments for shared emergency dispatch centers and create a new levy limit exclusion for new or expanded transit systems that cross municipal or county boundaries.
  • Close the “dark store” loophole for property tax assessments.
  • Limit the percentage of a tax incremental financing (TIF) district’s project costs that can go to cash grants to developers to 20 percent.
  • $1.9 million increase for local road improvements.
  • 10 percent increase in general transit aids for a total $11 million annually.
  • $3 million increase each year for specialized transportation for seniors and those with disabilities.


  • Require all electricity generation in the state to be carbon-free by 2050.
  • $75 million for energy conservation projects and lift funding cap for Focus on Energy.
  • Create a state Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy.
  • Use $10 million of Volkswagen settlement funds for electric vehicle charging stations.


  • Increase minimum wage to $8.25 on Jan. 1, 2020, and to $9 on Jan. 1, 2021, with additional 75-cent annual increases in 2022 and 2023. A task force would study ways to work toward a $15 minimum wage.
  • Tax “brown cigarettes” or “little cigars” as well as e-cigarette and vapor products.
  • Require online sellers to collect and remit taxes just brick-and-mortar retailers do.
  • $3.75 million annually to address the state’s homeless population.
  • Restore prevailing wage law for state and local public works projects and eliminate the “right-to-work” law.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

Subscribe to our Politics email!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.