MADISON, Wis. — Republicans, who control the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, painted a clear picture last week of which financial priorities will make the cut as they put together a spending plan for the next two years.
Tuesday afternoon, it was Gov. Tony Evers’ turn to share his opinion during a WisPolitics event.
Gov. Evers said he knows he won’t get everything he asked for in his budget proposal. However, neither will Republicans if he vetoes items as expected.
While that is not really news to anyone, the governor said when it comes to a lot of his proposals that don’t pass, including them in the overall package was about starting a conversation.
“Instead of saying we don’t have enough money, tell me what the damn plan is,” said Gov. Evers. “[Republicans] need to come back. I put my plan out there. I think it is a reasonable plan; they need to get to work.”
Though Gov. Evers and Republicans will battle over the budget, he said the divide isn’t as deep as it used to be.
“I think the tenor of the conversation is a little better than it has been,” Gov. Evers explained. “I think the Republicans were really hoping that I would be defeated, and now they realize they are stuck with me for at least four more years.”
As far as finding common ground, shared revenue from the state to local communities is one area where Gov. Evers said he remains optimistic, even if it means there will be no local tax options.
“I think shared revenue will get an upper,” Gov. Evers said. “I mean it has to. [Local governments] do all of the hard work. Whether it is public health, public safety, courts, you name it, that is local expenses.”
However, a flat tax, as some Republicans floated as an idea earlier this year, will not happen, according to the governor.
“That is a dead issue for me,” Gov. Evers stated. “That will be a veto of the budget if I get a budget that isn’t going to be a fair tax, which means most of the savings go to wealthy people.”
When it comes to income taxes, the governor said he is expecting a tax cut for the middle class similar to what passed in previous budgets.