Middleton Democrat Jon Erpenbach is a member of the Senate Judiciary committee, discussing confirmation of the governor’s pick to head the Department of Administration. Erpenbach questions former Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch about a proposal to require two-thirds supermajority for tax increases.
“Given what’s going on with the state’s deficit and the thought of tying the hands of future legislatures, in your honest opinion do you think it’s a road that we really need to go down?”
Huebsch says ‘higher taxes’ is not the answer to fill the $3 billion budget hole, and this legislation is indicative of that belief. “What the legislation is designed to do is make sure that if we are in fact going to raise taxes, it would require a bipartisan vote to make it happen.”
Erpenbach asks whether this type of legislation, or a constitutional amendment, is really necessary in order for Republicans to cut spending. Huebsch says it’s not, however he stresses that taxes are high enough in Wisconsin and he says the government simply can’t squeeze any more money from taxpayers. The supermajority gives lawmakers a chance to say “enough’s enough.” Huebsch says it’s important to balance affordable taxes with providing essential services.
In the midst of floor sessions and public hearings, a confirmation hearing for DOA secretary was also held at the state capitol last week.