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Wisconsin State Capitol with money behind it with text Wisconsin State Budget

Wisconsin State Budget

Want to learn about what’s in the Wisconsin State Budget?  Concerned about whether supports for people with disabilities will continue to be funded?  On this page you will find many resources, trainings, and videos on the Wisconsin State Budget to keep you better informed on how it impacts people with disabilities in the state of Wisconsin.


The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will hold 6 hearings across the state, coming to Platteville, Milwaukee, Berlin, Spooner, Ellsworth, and Marinette, and they want to hear from you! Each hearing starts at 10 a.m. and you will only get 2-3 minutes to testify.  Pick your 1 or 2 most important points to share with the Committee.  We will have a table at each hearing.  People at the table can help you sign up to testify and can provide you with information that can help you with your testimony.  Even if you can’t attend, it is important for the JFC to hear from you!  You can email your testimony to Committee members at

Date Location City Time
April 3 University of Wisconsin Platteville
Ullsvick Hall
30 South Hickory Street
Platteville 10 AM-5 PM
April 5 State Fair Park – Exposition Center
8200 West Greenfield Avenue
West Allis 10 AM-6 PM
April 7 Berlin High School (Auditorium)
222 Memorial Drive
Berlin 10 AM-5 PM
April 18 Spooner high School (Auditorium)
801 County Highway A
Spooner 10 AM-6 PM
April 19 Ellsworth High School (Gymnasium)
323 West Hillcrest Street
Ellsworth 10 AM-5 PM
April 21 Marinette High School (Auditorium)
2135 Pierce Avenue
Marinette 10 AM-5 PM

Issues in this year’s state budget include:

  • Children’s long-term care supports:  $39 million to end wait lists for this Medicaid waiver program
  • Education:  $200 more per pupil and support for students with mental health needs but no increase in special education funding
  • Employment:  $7.6 million to support employment for young people with disabilities
  • Care in the community:  2% increase (each year of the biennium) in rate for personal care workers, the first increase since 2008
  • Mental health:  funding for staff and supports for people in adult and juvenile corrections, peer-run respite for Veterans in Milwaukee, and increased access to psychiatrists for children
  • Transportation:  small increase in funding for specialized transit but no new support for public transportation
  • Employment and discrimination:  proposed changes may make it more difficult for people with disabilities to protect their rights against discrimination
  • Civil legal services:  $500,000/year for civil legal services for low-income families

Here are a few tips for speaking at the hearing:

  • Limit to your remarks to a few key “asks” – you have only three minutes to speak.
  • Include a personal story – explain how this budget item will have a personal impact on your life or others that you care about.
  • Arrive early.  There is usually a long line of people waiting to sign in to testify.  Hundreds of people attend the Milwaukee hearing so plan to arrive early!
  • If you have your testimony in writing, bring at least 20 copies – 16 for committee members and a few extra for staff and to share with allies.

Please let us know if you plan to speak and what issues you plan to address.  There are so many priorities in the budget for the disability community – transportation, mental health, employment, personal care, education, and many more are listed on the link above. You can contact Amy Devine at 608-267-0214 or 800-928-8778 (toll free) if you have questions or would like help writing your testimony.


The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, The Arc Wisconsin and Disability Rights Wisconsin have partnered to bring budget trainings about disability issues to as many communities as possible during the months of February and March.  If you were not able to make it to a training please see these slides for an outline of what we covered in these trainings.

button link to DRW Budget summaryview the training materials link to Find your federal and state elected officials

DRW Priorities

Click on checkmark to read more on each priority or view our summary.
Quality Community Supports & Institutions
Mental Health
Youth in Transition and Employment
Direct Care Workforce
Children’s Supports
Juvenile Justice and Corrections
Voting Housing Access to Justice

Partners Training – A Call to Action Video

Recent State Budget Posts

Make Your Voice Heard! 03-30-2017
Speak out for priorities for people with disabilities in the state budget: attend a Joint Finance Committee budget hearing and testify! DRW and BPDD
Remember to Register for Disability Advocacy Day 03-08-2017
Register now to talk directly to your state legislators! Sponsored by The Survival Coalition of Wisconsin Disability Organizations.
DRW Appreciates Positive Budget Provisions for People with Disabilities 02-09-2017
Wisconsin’s Protection and Advocacy system for people with disabilities is encouraged by the investment in people with disabilities across the lifespa
Medicaid Block Grants Could Hurt Wisconsin 01-12-2017
Here is an overview of the impacts Medicaid block grants could have on Wisconsin's disability community and what disability advocates think are other,
Disability Rights Wisconsin 2017-2019 Biennial Budget Priorities 10-14-2016
Disability Rights Wisconsin advocates across a wide variety of issues. See our priorities for the 2017-2019 biennial budget here: Quality Community