Capitol Buzz
November 30, 2020 (corrected version containing state revenue estimates)
Report on State Finances Estimates Modest Revenue Increases Over Next 3 Years

According to a report on state finances released by the Department of Administration on November 20th, the state is projected to have a positive fund balance of $1.22 billion at the end of the 2019-2021 biennium. Looking ahead to the 2021-2023 biennium, state revenues are expected to grow an additional $1.35 billion. Combined with the ending balance for 2019-2021, that pushes the total for new revenue to $2.57 billion.

However, state agency budget requests submitted to the governor last fall in preparation for the 2021-2023 state budget exceeded what the state expects to take in by $2.36 billion if every agency request was approved. As is typically the case, however, it is unlikely that all budget requests from state agencies will be funded in their entirety in the next state budget.

Governor Evers is expected to introduce his 2021-2022 state budget proposal at the end of January or early February. The Legislature will then prepare its version of the state budget during the first half of 2021, with the goal of enacting it by June 30, 2021.
Legislative Audit Bureau Releases Report on DNR's Recycling Grant Program

Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau released a performance audit report of DNR's administration of the recycling grant program. Key findings of the audit include:

  • For the last several years the state has appropriated $19 million annually for the recycling grant program and $1 million annually for recycling consolidation grants.
  • The recycling and consolidation grants covered 16.4 percent of the eligible recycling expenditures reported by responsible units in 2018.
  • The grants have never covered all eligible expenditures since they were first awarded in 1992. In 1994, they covered 52.7 percent of eligible expenditures, which was the highest proportion covered in any given year. To have covered 25.0 percent of eligible expenditures in 2018 would have required $30.5 million in grants, to have covered 30.0 percent would have required $36.6 million in grants, and to have covered 50.0 percent would have required $61.0 million in grants.
  • The grants covered considerably different proportions among responsible units in 2018. The grants covered less than 10.0 percent of eligible recycling expenditures for 281 responsible units and 40.0 percent or more for 94 responsible units. 
Legislative Audit Bureau Recommends Best Practices for Recycling Programs

Earlier this month, the Legislative Audit Bureau released a report recommending the following best practices for local recycling programs:

  • Using multiple methods to deliver outreach and education.
  • Attaching warning tags to recycling containers with inappropriate materials.
  • Cooperating with recycling entities to provide outreach and education.
  • Providing outreach and education throughout the year.
  • Providing larger containers to residences or at drop-off sites.
  • Labeling containers with images or words of recyclable materials.
  • Placing containers in public places and at public events.
  • Purchasing containers for residents.
  • Collecting all recyclable materials in one container and using automated collection of containers.
  • Supervising drop-off sites and strategically locating drop-off sites.
  • Requiring hauling firms to identify non-recycling residences.
  • Routinely inspecting recycling containers.
  • Rewarding individuals who recycle properly. 
Municipalities and the Local Redistricting Process -Webinar on Tuesday, December 1, at Noon

Municipal officials and staff are invited to a redistricting Zoom webinar scheduled for noon tomorrow. The webinar will focus on preparing for local redistricting in Wisconsin in April 2021. Staff from the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) and Legislative Technology Services Bureau (LTSB) will provide information on the legal process of redistricting and the software utilized for local redistricting.
The first half will focus on local redistricting timelines and information on current redistricting statutes. This will include an overview of the ‘how and why’ of redistricting for municipalities, as well as discussions of procedures, guidelines, and the laws that shape redistricting in Wisconsin.
The second half will be a demonstration of the WISE-LR software, which will be used for local redistricting. WISE-LR is a web application developed by the LTSB specifically for Wisconsin local redistricting. WISE-LR will allow local officials, or their delegates, to create, analyze, and share county supervisory plans, ward plans, and alder plans with accurate demographic data.

No Cost and No Need to RSVP

To join the webinar click the link below:
Passcode: 174311

Dial In: 312 626 6799
Webinar ID: 872 1101 4863
Passcode: 174311