2015-17 State Budget

This page includes information on how Wisconsin’s 2015-17 budget will affect children and families. For additional analysis, visit the Wisconsin Budget Project’s compilation of materials related to the 2015-17 state budget.



Guide: Wisconsin Budget Toolkit
An explanation of the state’s budget process.

Analysis: Children’s Issues in the 2015-17 Budget Bill
Budget decisions made by lawmakers can have a big effect on the well-being of Wisconsin children.

Analysis: Budget Issues Affecting Low-Income Households in Wisconsin
More than any other legislation, the biennial budget bill is how state lawmakers make and implement policy decisions that affect low-income and disadvantaged Wisconsin residents.

Analysis: Better Choices for the Wisconsin Budget: Legislators Can Avoid Deep Cuts without Raising Taxes
State legislators have an opportunity to protect Wisconsin’s assets by passing a budget that strengthens, rather than weakens, Wisconsin’s public schools, public university, and health care system.

Blog post: Legislators Should be Embarrassed by the Budget Process, but Not Because the Bill is Late
If legislators want to avoid the embarrassment of a flawed budget process, they shouldn’t be concerned about how much longer it takes to pass a bill. They should worry instead about how much non-fiscal policy they add to the bill and how much they abuse the budget process by passing special interest measures that never get public hearings and meaningful public review.

Blog post: Revised Figures Paint Much Less Rosy Picture of Wisconsin’s Fiscal Health
State lawmakers keep telling us that they are creating a strong fiscal foundation for future budgets, but the tax policy choices they have been making keep setting us up for new rounds of substantial spending cuts.

Video: 3 Ways the Wisconsin Budget Harms Children and Families


Early Care and K-12 Education

Analysis: A Summary of the Wisconsin Budget for K-12 Education
Wisconsin state lawmakers have proposed an education budget that includes a small increase in funding for public schools, lowers property taxes compared to what they would otherwise be, devotes new resources to voucher schools, and eliminates many of the standards required to get a teaching license.

Analysis: A Summary of the Child Care Issues in the Wisconsin Budget
The budget includes a Wisconsin Shares direct child care subsidy budget that results in an overall cut of $6.6 million over the biennium, including a funding decrease of $12.6 million in the first year for child care subsidies, and an increase of $6.0 million in the second year.

Blog post: Giving Resources to Schools with One Hand, Taking Away with the Other
The package passed this week by the budget committee of the Wisconsin legislature includes new money for education in Wisconsin, but a closer look shows that most of that money would wind up in other places than public schools.

Health Care

Blog post: New Enrollment Figures Add Fuel to the Medicaid Expansion Debate
A surge enrollment of childless adults in BadgerCare raises the price tag for turning down federal money.

Blog post: Wisconsin Would Save More than Any Other State by Expanding Medicaid
From a budget perspective, no other state has nearly as much to gain as Wisconsin from expanding Medicaid coverage for low-income adults.

Analysis: An Updated Overview of Health Care Issues in the 2015-17 Budget
Although the budget bill significantly increases state funding for Medicaid and BadgerCare in order to address cost increases, it also contains a number of cuts to important health care services. Those cuts and much of the increased spending from state revenue could be avoided if Wisconsin expanded BadgerCare eligibility to more low-income adults.


Other Resources

Joint Committee on Finance

Wispolitics.com Budget Blog