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Department of Employee Trust Funds
February 23, 2017

ETF Provides Initial Review of 2017-2019 State Budget

On February 8, 2017, Governor Walker presented his 2017-2019 State Budget to the Legislature. ETF has completed an initial review of the budget bill. The following provisions (proposals) relate to the benefit programs that ETF administers:

  • Domestic Partnership Program – Eliminates the Chapter 40 domestic partnership program on the effective date of the bill; however, grandfathers existing domestic partnerships for purposes of Wisconsin Retirement System benefits. Additionally, group health insurance coverage under a group health plan offered by the Group Insurance Board (GIB) would no longer be extended to an employee’s domestic partner, effective January 1, 2018. It also provides that a surviving domestic partner is not a default beneficiary for purposes of a deferred compensation plan and is not eligible to receive duty disability survivorship benefits for deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2018.
  • Self-Insurance Savings – The budget anticipates the Group Insurance Board will transition to a self-insured group health model starting January 1, 2018. The projected savings are $20 million GPR in Fiscal Year 2018 and $40 million GPR in Fiscal Year 2019. 

ETF will continue reviewing the budget bill to identify all implications for the Wisconsin Retirement System and ETF-administered benefit programs. In late June, the Legislature will deliver an amended budget bill to Governor Walker for review, approval and/or partial veto of the budget to be effective July 1, 2017.

Below is a link to the entire budget bill:

Please contact Tarna Hunter, ETF’s Government Relations Director, if you have any questions.

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