Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called for bipartisan cooperation, in his budget address Wednesday night. Republican legislative leaders were quick to say there was little in the Democratic governor’s two year spending plan that they like.
“As you consider this breakthrough budget, let’s not just dismiss ideas because they’re proposed by a person or a party you dislike,” the governor said.
Evers laid out am ambitious set of budget goals, including an historic $2.6 billion funding increase to K-12 schools, targeted middle class tax relief, increasing the state hourly minimum wage to $9.25 in 2025 and $10.25 in 2026, and 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave benefits.
“It was a budget that is absolutely devoid of reality,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) during a Republican press conference following the governor’s address.
Evers’ budget plan now goes to the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, whose co-chair, Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) said “I’ve seen this movie before,” adding that Evers’ budget consists of “deficit spending, and a liberal wish list.”
Marklein said the committee will start from base, to build a budget that funds the state’s priorities.