Gov. Tony Evers Unveils 2023-25 State Budget Proposal
The spending bill includes healthcare workforce Initiatives; Medicaid expansion
Earlier this month, Governor Tony Evers introduced his 2023-25 Biennial Budget proposal – the state’s two-year spending plan – before a Joint Session of the Wisconsin Legislature. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee met shortly afterwards to formally introduce the bill.
As was the case with the governor’s previous budget proposals, the Republican-controlled Legislature is expected to essentially scrap most of the Evers budget and craft their own version by working off current spending levels. However, it is likely the Legislature will adopt some of the governor’s initiatives.
According to Evers, his budget includes proposals that would increase access to affordable healthcare coverage, improve the quality of healthcare services in the state, and expand the scope of benefits available through Medicaid. Please find below a brief overview of items included in governor’s budget proposal that may be of interest to WAO members and the greater healthcare community:
- Expand Medicaid eligibility for parents and adults from 100% of the federal poverty line ($27,750 annually in 2022 for a family of four) to 138% of the federal poverty line ($38,300 annually in 2022 for a family of four). According to the Evers Administration, this expansion would result in 89,700 low-income individuals becoming eligible for Medicaid, of which approximately 30,300 are uninsured. Under this proposal, the state would realize a savings of over $1.6 billion and draw down an additional $2.2 billion in federal funding over the two-year budget cycle. Republicans who control the Legislature are firmly opposed to this proposal.
- Provide $200 million in additional funding for Wisconsin Innovation Grants, a current program previously funded with federal dollars to design and implement plans to address workforce challenges. This proposal includes a $100 million allocation to specifically focus on fortifying the state’s healthcare workforce by providing grants to healthcare employers and related organizations.
- Provide $10 million to expand the state’s nurse educators program.
- Provide over $900,000 to the Department of Workforce Development to support healthcare profession apprenticeship curriculum development and to advance new collaborations related to healthcare workforce.
- Provide nearly $4 million and increased staffing to the Department of Safety and Professional Services to streamline the state’s credentialling process for licensed professionals and provide more efficient processing of license applications.
The Legislature will take roughly a month to review the bill before the formal budget process begins. In late March or early April, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will hold informational hearings on the bill with testimony from state agencies. This will be followed by a series of public hearings on the budget around the state. Beginning in May, JFC will begin meeting two or three times per week to take up and vote on individual budget provisions, with the goal of completing their work in early June. The legislation will then be considered and voted on by the full Legislature, with lawmakers aiming to pass it and send it to Gov. Evers before the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.
Below you will find links to Gov. Evers’ Budget Address, a “Budget in Brief” Summary Document, the full Executive Budget Document, and a copy of the actual legislation:
The WAO Government Affairs Team continues to fully analyze the recently introduced budget bill and will keep the membership updated throughout the budget process.