A provision that would largely repeal Wisconsin's prevailing wage law, which provides for a minimum wage rate for workers on public construction projects. The provision would exempt local government, school district, and technical college projects from the prevailing wage requirements. Such projects represent about 90 percent of projects currently subject to the prevailing wage. The provision would also apply the federal prevailing wage to state projects.
The Senate voted unanimously to delete a provision inserted into the budget by the JFC that would have essentially eliminated Wisconsin's open records laws, which allow the public and media to scrutinize the actions of public officials.
In addition to the changes mentioned above, the Senate rejected several amendments that would have provided much-needed funding for many of the programs that are essential to the well-being of women and girls that we have covered on this site:
The Senate rejected a motion to accept federal money to expand BadgerCare to childless adults earing up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Line. In addition to providing over 80,000 more Wisconsinites with health insurance, this proposal would save the state $360 million in the form of increased federal funding. For more information on this issue, see our previous post on Medicaid expansion and this Wisconsin Budget Project Blog post on updated projections from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
The Senate rejected a motion to restore the $250 million in funding that the JFC cut from the University of Wisconsin System.
The Senate rejected a motion that would have held private voucher schools to the same performance and accountability standards at public K-12 schools.
Finally, the Senate rejected an amendment to increase state funding for public K-12 education by $270 million.
The Assembly is currently debating the budget as passed by the Senate. We will provide an update as soon as the Assembly finishes its work on the budget.