(Madison) In his budget address last night, the Governor Tony Evers touched on a number of issues he had already previewed, including K-12 schools funding and Medicaid expansion. Ever says there will be fee increases to address transportation funding. He says the increase – eight cents a gallon – will be offset by eliminating the state’s minimum markup on gasoline. The proposals will raise over $600-million dollars in new revenues and increase funding for local governments to repair their streets and roads. The governor’s proposed two-year spending plan now goes to the legislature’s budget committee, where Republicans hold the majority. Many of his spending and policy proposals will be eliminated as that panel works through the budget in the coming months.
Statement by State Representative Mark Born (R-Beaver Dam):
“Governor Evers’ budget request is a massive spending spree that will erase progress made over the last eight years. By prioritizing our spending and budgeting responsibly, our state is in great fiscal condition. More people are working than ever before and families are keeping more of their hard earned money.
“The governor’s wish list comes with a massive price tag. One thing he failed to highlight in his address was how he plans on paying for all of these big ticket items. I’ll make one thing very clear – Assembly Republicans will not support an increase in taxes on the people of Wisconsin to pay for these divisive proposals.
“His proposal also includes a number of policy items that are too complex to be included in the budget document. We can all agree that conversations surrounding marijuana legalization and redistricting reform should be pulled out of the budget and discussed as individual legislation.
“One of the most important parts of my job is helping craft a two-year spending plan for the people of Wisconsin. With that being said, I hope to find some areas that I can support in the governor’s proposal, like more funding for our public schools and reforming our criminal justice system. Although there were many policies that I disagreed with the governor on this evening, the people of our state elected us to work together.
“Now, it’s the Legislature’s turn to work on the two-year spending plan. As a member of budget-writing committee, I look forward to traveling the state to listen to the priorities of all people of Wisconsin, not just those of Madison and Milwaukee. I’ll also be holding my in-district listening sessions to hear directly from the constituents of the 39th Assembly District. I’m optimistic that my colleagues and I can put together a budget that reflects the values of those who elected us to be their voice in Madison.”
State Senator Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau):
“Governor Evers campaigned on bringing people to the table, however Republicans weren’t even consulted before he rolled out one of the most liberal budgets in Wisconsin history. His plans will raise the tax burden on manufacturers, potentially send the cost of private health insurance skyrocketing, and hurt the ability of low-income students to escape failing schools.
“We’ve been ready to negotiate with the governor, but have seen nothing outside of his political posturing in newspaper headlines. It’s time he comes to the table to negotiate a budget that Republicans in the Senate might actually support. Our door is open.”
Watch the State Budget Address here: