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As I See It

Wisconsin should refund state surplus now, not later



So, what is the plan then? Governor Tony Evers had a plan to send a big chunk of the state budget surplus back to taxpayers in the form of rebate checks. That plan was dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Legislature. They held a special session at the request of the Governor as the law requires, but did not vote on the idea of sending rebate checks, or even debate the idea. But more importantly, they also didn’t come up with their own plan. The state of Wisconsin’s budget surplus is estimated at $3.8 billion. That doesn’t include the $1.7 billion in the state’s rainy day fund, the largest in state history. Instead, as Wisconsinites struggle to fill their cars with gas and buy groceries, the state continues to sit on those billions of dollars. I don’t know if the rebate check is the best way to spend the surplus. But it must be better than no plan at all. Republicans seem intent on continuing to stash the cash for now, hoping one of their candidates wins the Governor’s race in November and can then take the credit. But with record inflation, can we afford to wait? Returning the surplus to taxpayers now would help us deal with these sky-high prices. Our lawmakers should stop trying to score political points and figure out a way to distribute this surplus now, when we need it most.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Thomas Lane

    June 23, 2022 at 8:32 am

    It’s not returning the surplus, it’s an attempt to buy votes.

    • Darrell Dorger

      August 31, 2022 at 6:37 pm


  2. Erica

    July 28, 2022 at 5:30 am

    As we struggle we have no help from our state and that is sad with the food going uprent going up gas going its only right to help us it is very hard for us to take care of our families and all our state doing is watching us struggle the govt neex to help as well this is not a political issue this is our everyday lives

  3. Barb

    August 6, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    I honestly feel gov is trying their best to be fair.
    But what about home heating oil this winter?
    Does anyone use home heating oil?
    Talking abt
    $4.00 gal. Maybe higher. Very high cost. Abt 600 gal for cold winter, come on. Be realistic, try to understand, please help.
    Stimulus checks would be greatful and very helpful, if this is possible.
    I normally sit back, keep comments and thoughts to ourselves. But feel in time of changes going on, had to reach out.


  4. Darrell Dorger

    August 31, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    How ’bout we use it to get the firefighters and police back to the levels they were intended to be. All politicians want to do is cut their levels to “balance the budget”. Wait a minute. You say we have enough money? Maybe somebody should tell them.

  5. Connie moore

    September 20, 2022 at 1:14 pm

    Wee need this money for are self rent high jobs only let u work part time wit no hours n light n gas bout to go up in winter

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