Agency heads meet with the Joint Finance Committee, talking about their budget priorities.
Republican State Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine) compliments DOA secretary Michael Morgan … sort of.
"I do give the department some credit for the fact that for the first time in a long time there are some permanent spending cuts in the budget, so I want to thank you for that. Part of the problem I see, though, it's less than 1% of our budget. So when we talk about making tough decisions I don't know how tough cutting one percent really was."
Any further cuts, Morgan says, would have had too much of an impact on Wisconsin citizens, such as having higher property taxes, increased college tuition, and layoffs of cops and firemen. Morgan points to tax cuts for middle class families. But, somebody's got to pony up.
"The budget targets revenue increases at the wealthiest 1% in the state, large oil company profits, and scales back capital gains exemptions from 60 to 40%."
Vos challenges the actual size of the budget deficit, saying the Fiscal Bureau's estimate of $4.6 billion is over a billion dollars less than what Administration officials are saying.
Democratic Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) focuses on the "tax-and-spend rhetoric." The committee co-chair asks Morgan whether the budget includes across the board income tax, general sales tax or property tax increases. The answer each time is no.