The Democratic Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin suggested that part of the surplus fund to give a tax rebate of $150 to all residents and divert $750M towards education. The idea was rejected by Republican members of the state legislature.
But the plans proposed by Tony Evers reflected plans by his predecessor, GOP Gov. Scott Walker that he had proposed going into the election in 2018. His proposal was panned then by the Democrats.
But Tony Evers said that the plans made sense now as the state was in the middle of the pandemic and was facing high inflation.
Tony Evers is preparing for the elections even as he proposed his legislative package worth $1.7B a couple of days after state officials learned that Wisconsin will have a surplus of $2.9B over what was earlier expected by mid-2023.
GOP lawmakers said this week that they want to delay the elections this fall, before going in for any cut in taxes. But Tony Evers said that it was not necessary to delay any tax breaks.
At a conference in Madison, the state capital, Evans said that it was the people’s money and it did not make sense to keep it locked for another year.
Republicans Immediately Reject Tony Evers’ Proposal
Governor Evers’s proposal was immediately rejected by Devin LeMahieu of Oostburg, the Majority leader of the Senate. He said that the Governor could use the billions in pandemic relief funds to which he had access to pay for his priorities.
LeMahieu said that the Republicans in the Senate would prefer not to gamble with projected surplus funds from the state to fund what he said was Governor Evers’ election gimmick.
Robin Vos, the Assembly Speaker of Rochester said that the Republicans embraced rebates as a stop-gap move 4 years back but now remain focused on reducing taxes.
He said that with such a huge surplus projected, the state should remain focused on generational lasting tax reforms.