Governor Jim Doyle outlined his " opportunity budget " in a wide ranging address Tuesday night before a joint session of the Wisconsin Legislature. Doyle said his proposal is "a budget of opportunity for the middle class in Wisconsin, and those trying to get there." He said it includes more than a dozen separate tax cuts aimed at creating jobs and helping families, amounting to about $1.7 billion over the next four years. Perhaps the biggest applause line of the evening came when Doyle mentioned his assessment on oil companies: two and a-half percent per barrel.
But Republican Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch said the Doyle plan will result in more taxes–an extra $310 for every resident of the state. Doyle asked lawmakers to get to work promptly, and is likely to get wish; Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald predicted that the Joint Committee on Finance will have to tear the Doyle budget apart and rebuild it, terming the budget "preposterous."