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Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Vos has something on everything Democratic

WIZM staff

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FILE - Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, center, watches as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers addresses a joint session of the Legislature in the Assembly chambers during the Governor's State of the State speech at the state Capitol on Jan. 22, 2019, in Madison, Wis. Behind Evers is Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August, left, R-Lake Geneva, and Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly speaker went off on everything Democratic at a luncheon Thursday.

From legalizing marijuana and Foxconn to the Democratic National Convention and middle class tax cuts, Speaker Robin Vos had something for the audience of Capitol insiders on Thursday.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

When it comes to Gov. Tony Ever’s proposal to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize small amounts for recreational, Vos put the chances that plan passes at 10 percent.

Vos said Evers might have been able to win support for a narrower proposal limited only to medical marijuana.

“There is no chance Republicans are going to go to recreational marijuana,” Vos said at the WisPolitics.com luncheon. “They’re not going to decriminalize it so people can carry around bags of weed all over the state.”

Vos called that idea “so preposterous, because that is so far out of the mainstream, it makes the entire proposal not serious.”

As of November, 13 states, including Minnesota and Illinois, had decriminalized marijuana but not legalized it.

Part of Evers’ plan is to decriminalize possession, manufacturing or distributing up to 25 grams of recreational marijuana.

Wisconsin voters in 16 counties, including La Crosse, and two cities voted in November to approve non-binding referendums in favor of medical marijuana.

Evers argues it’s time for Wisconsin to join more than 30 other states — including neighboring Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois — in legalizing medical marijuana.

FOXCONN AIR PERMITS

Vos also railed against Evers’ plan to review Foxconn’s air permits, saying he hopes the governor doesn’t tighten them.

“I want Foxconn to be here” and the state should send that message that it is “damn happy” to have the company, Vos said.

The Foxconn project is located in Vos’ southeastern Wisconsin legislative district.

Evers said he is ordering a review of air permits granted by his predecessor Gov. Scott Walker.

Foxconn has been changing its plans for what will be made at the facility. It is, however, sticking to its promises to employ up to 13,000 people, which would allow it to reap the billions of dollars in local and state tax incentives given to the company.

Along with relaxed air standards, the deal made to Foxconn exempted it from a host of environmental regulations, allowing to the company to fill wetlands without a permit and to proceed without an environmental impact statement, which is a typically routine study of a construction project’s potential effects on the environment.

DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

When it comes to Milwaukee’s bid to host the 2020 DNC convention, Vos said it would be good … for President Donald Trump.

Vos said it would bring “lots of limousine liberals” to Milwaukee, which would be good for the state’s economy.

Milwaukee is one of three finalists along with Miami and Houston for hosting the convention. A decision is expected any day.

MIDDLE-CLASS TAX CUT SHOWDOWN

As for Evers’ veto of the Republican plan for middle class tax cuts, Vos said it’s “too early to tell” if lawmakers will attempt an override.

Evers vetoed their bill Wednesday. Republicans don’t have enough votes to override it.

Both the GOP and Evers have plans for middle class tax cuts.

Evers objected to Republicans relying on budget reserves and future revenue growth to pay for the tax cut. Vos, however, didn’t think Evers was serious with the proposal.

He added that not enough attention has been paid to the fact that Evers does not identify funding for about half of his proposed income tax cut.

Evers wants to all-but eliminate a manufacturing tax credit, a program Republicans support, to fund his tax cut plan.