25 Jun 2014

State Lawmakers Act to Limit Local Control

In recent years, the Wisconsin legislature has passed more than 60 measures that represent unfunded mandates for local governments or restrict the authority of local governments. Many state lawmakers embrace the idea of local control, saying that they believe governing should take place at the local level when possible. But instead of

19 Jun 2014

Job Growth in Wisconsin Still Slow, Despite Numerous Tax Breaks

For more information, go to www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org. Wisconsin continues to perform poorly in private sector job growth, according to new employment figures released today. The number of private sector jobs in Wisconsin grew by 1.2% in 2013, compared to 2.1% nationally. The new jobs figures come from the Quarter Census of

17 Jun 2014

GDP Numbers Confirm Wisconsin’s Lagging Growth

Wisconsin’s economic growth has lagged behind that of most other states, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The new report issued last week provides inflation-adjusted statistics on gross domestic product (GDP) in every state for each of the years from 2010 through 2013. The following graph illustrates that Wisconsin’s GDP growth

12 Jun 2014

Still Waiting: Unlike U.S., Wisconsin Has not Returned to Pre-recession Job Levels

Finally. After more than six years from the start of the Great Recession, the U.S. at long last has more jobs than it did before the recession. For Wisconsin though, that achievement is likely to be a few months in the future. As of April 2014, there are still 27,700 fewer jobs

12 Jun 2014

As Medicaid Participation Surges Nationally, Wisconsin Experiences Much Slower Growth

National data released last week show that there has been a sharp increase in Medicaid enrollment since last September, and that trend continued in April.  One surprising aspect of the latest HHS data is that the growth in Wisconsin trails that in most other states, even among the states that haven’t expanded Medicaid eligibility.

03 Jun 2014

Missing Out: Recent Tax Cuts in Wisconsin Deliver Little to People Who Earn the Least

If the Wisconsin legislature wants to keep taxes low for people with modest incomes, the best way to do that is to strengthen tax credits that keep taxes affordable for low-income people and individuals, not hand out untargeted tax cuts. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis released by the

30 May 2014

Sizing Up Wisconsin’s Budget Challenges

Several significant pieces of Wisconsin budget data were released late last week: Our state is facing a structural deficit of $642 million in the next biennium, which means that $642 million of growth in General Purpose Revenue (GPR) will be needed even if there is no net increase in spending

27 May 2014

Wisconsin State Tax Collections Drop 21% in April

For more, go to www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org. Figures released Friday by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue indicate that state tax collections were 21% lower in April than in the same month of 2013 – primarily because of a $332 million drop in individual income tax revenue. Perhaps more importantly, tax collections have

15 May 2014

The True Cost of Cheap Eats: Fast Food Workers in Wisconsin Strike

Milwakee #FastFoodStrike workers take Wisconsin Ave #FastFoodGlobal pic.twitter.com/Sp7WvW9lcd #solidarity #1u #fightfor15 @FifteenNow — Jonathan Leavitt (@JCL_VT) May 15, 2014 Fast food workers in Wisconsin took part in a national strike today to rally for higher wages. Strikes took place in Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, and other Wisconsin cities. Workers are advocating

07 May 2014

Downgrade of Kansas Bond Rating Offers Another Warning to Wisconsin

One more Reason not to be like Kansas A bond rating agency has downgraded its rating of Kansas’ creditworthiness, citing revenue reductions from tax cuts and slow economic growth, among other factors. A few weeks ago on the Wisconsin Budget Project blog, we highlighted how massive tax cuts in Kansas