Legislative Republican leaders describe Governor Doyle's budget plan as ambitious, but are already raising several concerns about new programs and how the Governor wants to pay for them. Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) says Governor Doyle's budget proposal would mean an extra $1,200 in taxes for the average Wisconsin family of four. Huebsch says people can excited about what Doyle wants to do, but it's going to cost them. The Speaker says the Governor's budget focuses too much on new spending.
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says the biggest problem with the Governor's budget is that it has no vision. The Juneau Republican is predicting a difficult road for the plan in the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, where he expects it to get torn apart and rebuilt. Fitzgerald says the proposal makes middle class families pick up the tab for new programs.
Both lawmakers are already rejecting several of Doyle's plans to pay for new programs. Proposals to raise the cigarette tax and impose a tax on hospitals are already being dismissed as unlikely. There's also concerns that a divided legislature could lead to a drawn out budget process, possibly delaying its passage until late summer.