It’s going to be anything but completely harmonious in Madison as the new divided state government begins 2019.
Onalaska Democratic state rep, Steve Doyle, however, anticipates lawmakers will have to work together just a little bit more with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers coming in.
Doyle expects to make early decisions with majority legislative Republicans on transportation funding.
“It’s likely we’re going to see an increase in the gas tax — a modest increase,” Doyle said. “It’s not going to be that $1 that we heard during the campaign but maybe five or ten cents — something like that.”
Despite fears generated during the campaign for governor, Doyle says Evers won’t be able to raise any taxes single handedly.
“Tony Evers can say whatever he wants,” Doyle said. “He can say we’re going to increase the gas tax by five bucks a gallon. It’s just not going to happen. We’re going to have to work together.”
There has to be some collaboration, Doyle continued, if only because there will be this divided government for the first time in several years.
Along with a, maybe, slightly higher gas tax, Doyle figures, a “modest” increases in some other fees.
“The other question, the other side of the coin, is, what happens with that money?” Doyle asked. “I’m tired of it going to Southeast Wisconsin. I would definitely like to see some of it go toward our local governments.”
Doyle says he’s already heard regrets from some of his Republican colleagues over how contentious the transition from Gov. Scott Walker to Evers has been, after that extraordinary and controversial lame-duck session earlier this month.