30 Jul 2014

Paul Ryan’s New Poverty Plan Focuses on Opportunity, but Comes up Short

Paul Ryan has a released a new poverty plan that advocates consolidating federal safety net programs and turning the money over to the states. It’s always worth taking a look at changes that could make anti-poverty program more effective, but Ryan’s approach would decrease opportunity for individuals living in poverty,

28 Jul 2014

Immigrants Offset Population and Workforce Losses in Wisconsin Cities

Immigrants are playing a very important role in boosting cities in Wisconsin and across the Midwest, according to a report issued last month.  The recent report, written by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, analyzed 2000 and 2010 decennial census data and found that the arrival of immigrants over the

24 Jul 2014

Five Years with No Raise for Minimum Wage Workers

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009. The minimum wage has about 11% of its purchasing power due to inflation since 2009, making it harder for low-paid workers to make ends meet. (In

24 Jul 2014

Can State Lawmakers Count on Federal Funds for Highways and Health Insurance Subsidies?

Today’s Circuit Court Ruling Reinforces the Inconsistencies in State Lawmakers’ Reasoning Should state lawmakers turn down federal funds whenever there’s a risk that the funding in question could be cut in future years? If so, why is Wisconsin proceeding with major highway and bridge construction plans at a time when

17 Jul 2014

Tax Cuts Aren’t Delivering Job Growth, in Wisconsin or Elsewhere

Wisconsin isn’t the only state that has made deep tax cuts on the premise of boosting the economy, only to find out that the promised job growth has not materialized. Kansas and North Carolina also passed large tax cuts and have experienced disappointing job growth. As a result of the

14 Jul 2014

Will Wisconsin Stop Its Job Piracy?

The term “border wars” has taken on a new meaning for many states and cities across the United States that have been engaged in the practice of job piracy. However, a number of areas in the country are shifting away from this practice of luring jobs over state borders after recognizing

11 Jul 2014

Should Counties Put a BadgerCare Expansion Question on the Fall Ballot?

At least 11 Wisconsin counties may add an advisory referendum to the November ballot on the question of whether Wisconsin should expand BadgerCare and take the federal funding that would cover the full cost of newly eligible childless adults. The proposed ballot measure has generated a healthy debate about whether the Medicaid

11 Jul 2014

New Bill in Congress Would Make Wisconsin’s Budget Harder to Balance

A bill under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives could limit Wisconsin’s flexibility in applying sales tax and make it more difficult to invest in schools and communities, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows. A committee in the House recently approved a bill that

08 Jul 2014

Falling Behind: Support for Wisconsin’s Schools Not Keeping up with Inflation

Most school districts will receive less state support next school year than they did this school year, when the rising cost of living is taken into account. Fifty-nine percent of Wisconsin districts will either receive less general aid next year or receive an increase that is smaller than the projected

02 Jul 2014

Wisconsin Gets Bad News on Both Taxes and Spending

Revenue Collections Continue to Fall, While Medicaid Deficit Takes Large Jump The state’s fiscal situation has gradually deteriorated in 2014, and new tax collection figures released late Friday afternoon show a continuation of that trend. That fiscal problem is exacerbated by a couple of areas where spending is growing, including a substantial increase announced today