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Legislative Republicans Reject More Than 540 Priorities for Wisconsin PDF Print E-mail
Written by GOV Press Wisconsin   
Wednesday, 03 May 2023 14:06

jfcphotoMiddle-Class Tax Cut, Housing, Veterans among the losers.

MADISON — Yesterday, Republican members of the Joint Committee on Finance removed more than 540 provisions from Gov. Tony Evers’ 2023-25 biennial budget in a single budget motion, including investments in mental health supports for kids, support for veterans, seniors, and working families, to bolster the state’s workforce, to expand BadgerCare and provide healthcare coverage to 90,000 Wisconsinites, and to ensure no kid goes hungry at school by providing universal free breakfast and lunch, among many other provisions. 

tony-evers“You know, people work hard to do the right thing, get the healthcare and education that they need, the housing that they need, but they need help from the Legislature,” Gov. Evers said in a video statement yesterday. “We have enough resources. We can make a better state... I’m angry. I’ll admit it. I don’t get angry often, but this is a situation where the Legislature has to step up. They can’t just play games like this. Very disappointing.”

In a statement released yesterday, the governor highlighted several priorities that were tossed out of his budget by Republicans in the Joint Finance Committee, provided below.  

1. Expanding Paid Family Leave
The governor’s budget would’ve provided most private-sector workers in Wisconsin paid family and medical leave for 12 weeks and expanded eligibility to ensure parents and families had the flexibility to meet their personal, family members’, or kids’ needs.

2. 10 Percent Middle-Class Tax Cut
Gov. Evers proposed to deliver real, responsible tax relief targeted to working families who are facing rising costs. His plan would’ve cut taxes by 10 percent for single filers making $100k or less and married-joint filers making $150k or less.

3. Efforts to Bolster the Workforce
Gov. Evers’ budget would’ve helped build a workforce for the future by investing nearly $500 million into programs to bring new workers to communities, invest in new infrastructure, and ensure Wisconsin can meet the needs of a 21st-century economy.

4. Building Workforce Housing
Lack of affordable housing will hold the state’s workforce and our economy back, but Republicans are rejecting the Affordable Workforce Housing program to invest $150 million into local communities to maintain and develop workforce housing statewide.

5. Support for Veterans
The governor’s budget would’ve invested in making housing more affordable for vets and their families, helping prevent veteran homelessness, and bolstering job training opportunities to help the nation’s heroes find and maintain work when they return to civilian life.

6. Expanding Mental Health Services in Schools
Wisconsin’s kids are facing a mental health crisis. Gov. Evers proposed investing more than $270 million into our “Get Kids Ahead” initiative to expand access to school-based mental health services in schools across our state.

7. Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids
The governor’s “Healthy Meals, Healthy Kids” budget initiative would’ve funded universal school breakfast and lunch so that Wisconsin could ensure Wisconsin kids at school are focused on their studies and not on when or whether they'll eat next.

8. Improving Financial Literacy
Through Gov. Evers’ “Do the Math” initiative, the state would’ve helped schools start or improve financial literacy curriculum and programs designed to ensure kids are prepared for future financial success.

9. Expanding High-Speed Internet
No administration has done more to expand access to reliable, high-speed internet, but the state has work to do to be prepared for the 21st century. So, Gov. Evers, again, proposed the largest investment in expanding high-speed internet in state history.

10. Making Healthcare More Affordable
Picking up life-saving medications and having access to quality, affordable healthcare shouldn’t break the bank. Gov. Evers proposed capping insulin copays at $35 and expanding access to affordable healthcare to about 90,000 Wisconsinites.

11. Access to Safe, Clean Water
The governor’s budget made historic investments to tackle water contaminants, including $300 million for lead remediation and pipe replacement and more than $100 million to take a three-pronged approach to confront PFAS and get them out of our water.

12. Reducing Gun Violence
Gov. Evers proposed universal background checks and extreme risk protection orders—two commonsense measures supported by an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites, including gun owners, to help keep kids, schools, and communities safe.

13. Tax Relief for Seniors, Caregivers, and Veterans
The governor’s budget would’ve provided millions in targeted tax relief for seniors living on fixed incomes, families providing care and assistance to an aging relative, and veterans and surviving spouses paying rent.

14. Legalizing and Taxing Marijuana
Gov. Evers proposed legalizing and taxing marijuana, much like the state already does with alcohol, which would help Wisconsin compete with other states for talented workers and have more resources to invest in critical state priorities like K-12 education.

15. Support for Small Businesses
The governor’s budget would’ve helped as many as 5,000 eligible small businesses afford building repairs and improvements, lease and mortgage payments, and defray other expenses that can be a barrier to becoming a successful business.

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