Tuesday, December 12, 2017

We Need Your Help to Save the Common School Fund!

Draft legislation authored by Representative Hutton (R-Brookfield) and Senator Stroebel (R-Saukville) was released this afternoon that would end the Common School Fund as we know it and end the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) loan program that benefits schools, towns, villages, technical colleges, CESAs and public library systems. 

The bill does the following:

  •  Eliminates the requirement that schools spend Common School Fund disbursements on instructional materials, library books or school library computers/software. Schools would be able to spend CSF funds on any items they would like and those items would not need to be housed in the school library

  • Eliminates BCPL’s authority to make loans. The interest on these loans currently goes into the Common School Fund. 

  • Under current law, the BCPL can delegate some investment authority to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), but SWIB can only invest in fixed income accounts. The bill would remove this restriction and allow SWIB to invest state trust fund dollars using their typical investment strategy.

The bill authors are asking other legislators to sign on to this draft bill as co-sponsors. Legislators have until December 21 to sign on to the legislation. Contact your state representative and state senator TODAY and ask them to NOT sign on to this proposal and to oppose it if it is introduced (LRB-4425: Board of Commissioners of Public Lands Reform). 

How to Contact Your Legislators:

The first step in contacting your legislator is knowing who your legislator is. The easiest way to do this is the tool found on the Legislature’s home page, at http://legis.wisconsin.gov. In the right-hand side of that page is a link that says Find My Legislators!  Type your address in the box below that link to get the names of your state representative and senator.

  • Phone.  You may leave a message for your legislator’s Capitol office or indicate your position on legislation through the toll free Legislative Hotline, at 1-800-362-9472.

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