In signing the two-year $66 billion budget, Governor Scott Walker eliminates the debt saying “Republicans and Democrats alike have caused this problem.” He says “Unfortunately for all of us ‘honest budgeting’ was one of those areas where both political parties tended to look the other way.”
This controversial spending plan balances a $3 billion deficit without raising income or sales taxes, and Walker says it does not rely on one-time money, fund raids, or budgeting tricks and gimmicks. The budget includes a Manufacturing Tax Credit and the Capital Gains Tax credit to promote job growth, however it slashes funding to public schools by $800 million, and $250 million to the University of Wisconsin system.
Walker says the path to prosperity requires tough choices and honest budgeting. “When you look at our state spending as a whole, you’ll see that our top priority remains public education. Public K-through-12 schools are the largest expenditure in this budget.”
During a private ceremony at a Green Bay-area manufacturing company, Walker says the recent debates in Madison had everyone focusing on their differences, rather than similarities, saying “today we turn the page.” Walker adds, “For the first time in a long time we have a budget that is better for the people of this state than the one we inherited.”
Walker tells the crowd at Fox Valley Metal-Tech that the budget protects middle-class property taxpayers by including a property tax freeze, saving the average homeowner $700.
Assembly Minority leader Peter Barca calls the bill a “polarizing, anti-middle class budget.”
Despite calls from both parties to veto the “anti-microbrewery” language, Walker kept it in the budget. He also ignored pleas to veto the cuts to Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy program. The plan includes a total of 50 vetoes.
The new budget takes effect July 1st.