Work continues on the state budget today, with the Joint Finance Committee expected to vote on the education funding portions of the overdue spending plan.
Details of the plan have not yet been made public, although JFC co-chairs John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said last Thursday that they do plan to stick with an increase in categorical aids proposed by the governor.
The state budget is now more than eight weeks overdue, and Democrats and some school districts have been critical of lawmakers for delaying the education aspects of the plan. While Nygren referred to some of those complaints as “smoke and mirrors,” Darling said she understands that districts need to have an idea of their funding levels before the school year starts. “They have people that they need to hire, they have vacancies they need to fill, and I think one of the biggest downsides of our taking this long was the fact that the schools could not go ahead and fill those positions,” she said.
The Finance Committee could wrap up its work on the budget shortly after Labor Day, sending it to the full Legislature for votes by mid-September.