State lawmakers with local ties have differing views on the state budget making its way to Governor Tony Evers’ desk. The Assembly passed their version of the $82 billion budget late Tuesday before the Senate gave its narrow approval on Wednesday. Republican state Senator Andre Jacque told DoorCountyDailyNews.com last week that the priorities were similar between the Legislature and the governor, but funding just was not the same.
Democratic state Senator Dave Hansen says the passage of the budget was a missed opportunity to address some key issues including special education, Medicaid expansion, and the environment.
Governor Evers will now have his say on whether or not to sign the budget into law or use his veto powers. We have comments from all the local legislators posted online with this story.
STATEMENTS FROM LOCAL LEGISLATORS
Statement from Senator Hansen: Passage of Republican Budget “Despite the absence of Scott Walker, the Republicans and their priorities haven’t changed: Protect corporations and their rich friends at the expense of the people and continue to put their faith that their gerrymander will save them. “Governor Evers put forward a budget that truly put a priority on helping level the playing field between corporate interests and average people. The Republicans’ response was to throw it out and adopt more of the same from their failed policies of the last eight years. “It is an unfortunate missed opportunity to address the deep cuts Republicans originally made to our public schools and universities, their neglect of our roads and highways, their choice to put profit over protecting our environment and their continued and illogical refusal to follow the lead of the over 70% of Wisconsinites, many of them Republicans, who believe we should take back our federal tax dollars through the Medicaid expansion. “At some point, the Republicans in Madison need to get over the fact that Scott Walker lost and Governor Evers won and find a way to work with him for the best interests of all the people in our state.”
Co-Chairs Guide Wisconsin Budget to Governor Evers Madison--The Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance, State Representative John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Senator Alberta Darling (RRiver Hills), released the following statement following the passage of the budget out of both houses of the Legislature: "When Governor Evers introduced his budget, one thing was very clear: our state couldn't afford it. It spent too much, it taxed too much, and it borrowed too much. He spent our record surplus and billions more. The Governor wanted to increase spending by $1,000 for every resident in the state, he raised taxes by more than one billion dollars, and eliminated reforms that led to our strong economy. His plan wasn't just unsustainable, it was irresponsible. Over the last few months, we have listened to folks from all over the state, we did our homework, and made sure we crafted a budget that benefits everyone in Wisconsin, not just a couple of counties. We made the Wisconsin budget better. Where the Governor's budget was lacking, we stepped up and made it better. From historic investments in K-12 education, targeted investments in healthcare, fixing our roads, and continuing to protect taxpayers, the Wisconsin budget is responsible and sustainable. It protects our shared values and moves our state forward. Wisconsinites deserve to take pride in their budget, and we believe this budget gives them just that. We made targeted investments in people, not programs. We strongly encourage Governor Evers to find the common ground in this budget. Vetoing the bill in its entirety would have dire consequences for the millions of people throughout our state."
Rep. Kitchens puts support behind state budget
MADISON, Wis. – Rep. Joel Kitchens, R-Sturgeon Bay, is proud to put his support behind the 2019-21 state budget that was passed yesterday by the Wisconsin State Assembly.
“The budget approved by the Assembly and Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget have a lot in common in terms of the priorities for helping all our residents across the state,” Kitchens said. “I strongly believe that we all want to fix our roads, we all want to improve education and we all want to take care of our elderly and disabled.
“The main difference, however, is our budget accomplishes all those things in a more responsible and sustainable manner,” Kitchens added. “We don’t rely nearly as much on borrowing and increasing taxes like the governor does, which helps set us up for a better chance of success in the future.”
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the spending plan being proposed by Gov. Evers would lead to a structural deficit of $1.96 billion heading into the next session. The governor’s budget also would raise taxes, fees and revenue enhancements by $1.3 billion, the largest increase since 2009.
The $83.5 billion, two-year budget passed by the Assembly cuts income taxes by $500 million and provides $60 million in property tax relief aid, all while still making sound investments in education, transportation and healthcare.
The budget increases funding by $604 per public school student over the biennium, which is the same amount being requested by Gov. Evers. The spending plan also commits more funding than the governor for local road aids, nursing homes, personal care workers, and Family Care direct caregivers.
“No legislator is ever happy with every single item in a budget, but overall, this is a well-thought-out and fiscally responsible budget that should benefit all Wisconsinites,” Kitchens said. “Because of that, I am honored to support it.”