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County Association rep says legislature is down ‘to a crawl’

Brad Williams

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The legislature’s joint finance committee in Madison is supposed to work on a state budget this week, but don’t expect things to get done quickly.

A representative of the Wisconsin Counties Association says battles between Governor Tony Evers and Republican leaders of the legislature have brought activity “almost to a crawl.”

Kyle Christianson told the La Crosse County Board this week that shared revenue for Wisconsin counties probably won’t be too high — maybe $30,000 to $40,000 for La Crosse County.

Christianson said there’s still a chance that lawmakers will pass a budget before July 1 but, if there still isn’t a budget agreement by hunting season in November, he thinks the public will demand action.

Former Gov. Scott Walker’s final budget in 2017 was passed in mid-September, around 10 weeks late on a 19-14 vote in the Senate.

On the subject of a premier resort area tax (PRAT) for the county, Christianson said Republican legislators haven’t shown much interest in the proposal.

The plan to charge a .5 percent sales tax on local businesses to raise funds for road projects has been approved by county voters in two referendums.

However, it needs support from the governor and legislature, and Christianson said there’s an “anti-tax sentiment” among GOP legislators.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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