The state budget funds many programs and services that are important to people with disabilities: mental health services, transportation, long term care, special education, and much more. April is an important time to share your priorities for the Wisconsin Biennial Budget with state legislators. DRW is sharing some opportunities for you to provide input on the budget:
Joint Finance Committee Budget Hearings
The Wisconsin Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is holding in-person public hearings on the 2021-23 state budget and one virtual hearing. Four public hearings have been scheduled and posted on the JFC Committee website. Each hearing will last from 10 AM – 5 PM. The April 2021 hearing schedule includes:
- Friday, April 9, UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
- Wednesday, April 21, The Hodag Dome, Rhinelander, WI
- Thursday, April 22, UW-Stout, Menomonie, WI
- Wednesday, April 28, 2021 Virtual Budget Hearing
Tips on Sharing Your Budget Priorities
Speak at a Joint Finance Committee Budget Hearings
- You can attend a Joint Finance Committee hearing and register to speak, or you may submit your comments in writing. If you decide to attend in person, be prepared for a long day. Traditionally the hearings draw large crowds.
- Speakers (virtual and in-person) will be given two minutes to speak to make sure the committee is able to hear from everyone.
- Those wishing to testify at the virtual hearing will be required to register in advance, details to come on the registration process.
- Check out the Joint Finance Committee Public Comment website for details about the hearings.
- If you need disability related accommodations to participate, contact the offices of the Committee co-chairs, Born and Sen. Marklein, with your request as soon as possible.
- Be prepared! Two minutes goes by quickly. Share your story and explain how this issue relates to your life, or the lives of people you care about.
Submit Written Comments
- You may submit written comments on the budget at any time on the JFC Committee Public Comment website at: legis.wisconsin.gov/topics/budgetcomments. These comments are downloaded every day so this can be a timely way to share your budget priorities.
- You also have the option to email your comments to the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share your budget priorities with your State Assembly Representative and State Senator. You may email them, or contact their office and ask to schedule a call with your legislator or their staff. To find contact information for your legislators, you can call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472 or use the “Who Are My Legislators?” on Wisconsin State Legislature Home Page.
State Budget Resources
These resources can help you learn about proposals in the state budget:
- View the Survival Coalition’s 2021-2023 Governor’s Budget Bill Comprehensive Budget Summary here.
- View Disability Rights Wisconsin’s Training on the Biennial Budget for Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force presentation here (accessible PDF).
- Learn more about Disability Rights Wisconsin’s biennial budget priorities here (accessible PDF).
- View Wisconsin Department of Administration’s 2021-2023 Executive Budget in Brief here.
- View the full Budget Bill (SB 111) here.
- Learn more about mental health-related and other budget proposals on the WI Department of Health Services website.
- Learn about how the budget will affect the Wisconsin Department of Corrections via the March 15th Virtual Town Hall: Governor Evers’ 2021-23 Budget Request here (video).
- Learn more about the Joint Committee’s members and meetings via the 2021 Joint Committee on Finance website here.