By John Schulze
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin is working on legislation that will directly benefit many ABC construction apprentices. The legislation unanimously passed a key committee hurdle last week, but there is a long way to go before it is law.
Background: Under current law, the cost of university and tech college tuition can be deducted from income taxes. Apprenticeship tuition cannot be treated the same way. Under Assembly Bill 45, apprenticeship tuition would be income tax deductible just like university and tech college tuition. Policy-wise, all post-high school education would be treated the same for income tax deduction purposes. Practically, many apprentices will get extra money in their pockets.
History: Last legislative session (2017-2018), thanks to support of ABC members like you, similar legislation passed, but by only one house of the legislature. In 2019, we were focused on protecting our past victories, and getting more tax dollars invested in youth apprenticeship and all technical education. Although 2020 just begun, it is an election year. Legislators want to end their work at the State Capitol by mid-March.
Action Plan: Please use the below link to search for the legislator for your business address and home address, and send them an email with the following information:
- Inform them you / your business is a constituent
- That an important part of addressing the construction skills gap is to get more people trained through an apprenticeship program.
- Explain that AB 45 will help do so by lowering the education cost for some apprentices, and just as importantly, treating all post-high school tuition the same.
- Please include examples of when you were an apprentice or how apprenticeship is changing the lives for the better for your employees.
- Asking that they help pass AB 45 into law. For the Chapter’s government affairs records, please blind copy firstname.lastname@example.org on the email, and any response you receive from the legislator.
Thank you for your consideration, and please let me know if you have any additional questions.
John Schulze is Director of Government and Legal Affairs for ABC of Wisconsin