Even though the Wisconsin State Legislature has completed its work for the 2017-18 legislative session, there continues to be a lot of activity at the Capitol. All of the bills that were approved in the legislature are now being considered by Governor Scott Walker. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about several significant bills that were signed into law recently.
You may have heard about the $100 per-child tax credit and the sales tax holiday in August for back-to-school shopping. Governor Walker signed the legislation on Tax Day this week.
Parents can claim the tax credit for every dependent child who is living at home and under the age of 18. In order to get the tax credit, you will have to go to the Department of Revenue website after May 15 and make a separate claim. In addition, Governor Walker added a few more days to the sales tax holiday. The duration of the holiday will now be five days and run August 1 – 5 of this year. During that time, state sales tax will not be added to back-to-school supplies or clothing under $75. Certain computer supplies are tax exempt as well.
Both tax relief measures are possible thanks to the surplus in sales tax revenue that I’m glad that we can now return to taxpayers. Cutting taxes has been a priority for Assembly Republicans and we’ve delivered on that promise. It’s been calculated by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau that we have reduced the tax burden in Wisconsin by more than $8 billion since 2011.
Governor Walker also recently signed an investment in worker retention and recruitment. The legislation, which received bipartisan support, asks the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to collaborate with state agencies for workforce attraction and marketing efforts. We are investing $6.8 million to develop a plan to attract and keep workers in Wisconsin. With so many new jobs in the state and a historic low unemployment rate, we need to take additional steps to bring more people here to fill these family supporting positions.
Expanding Youth Apprenticeships
High school students will be able to explore careers that interest them through an expanded youth apprenticeship program. The governor signed a bill that will allow for full-time programs to give students not only the hands-on training but also the skills needed to succeed in that field.
The new law allows students to get credit for their apprenticeship so, hopefully, they can enter the workforce a little faster. According to the Department of Workforce Development, enrollment for youth apprenticeships hit an all-time high with more than 3,559 students involved.
As I write this column, there have been 367 new laws from this legislative session. Like previous sessions, more than 90 percent of the bills received bipartisan support in the Wisconsin State Assembly. It’s a statistic that often goes unnoticed but we work hard to work together. I’m proud of what we have accomplished in a bipartisan fashion.
Speaker Vos represents the 63rd Assembly District, which includes the communities of Rochester, Burlington, Town of Burlington, Yorkville, Dover, Union Grove, Mount Pleasant, and Sturtevant.