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Wisconsin governor vetoes 0.9% tax cut, calls Republican plan ‘completely unserious’



MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Monday vetoed a $2 billion, .9-percent Republican tax cut bill, calling it “completely unserious.”

Evers’ veto was expected, as he opposed the GOP plan from the moment it was introduced as a substitute to the Democratic governor’s own workforce development package. Evers has previously vetoed a similar income tax cut passed by the Legislature.

The measure Republicans introduced would cut taxes from 5.3% to 4.4% for individuals earning between $27,630 and $304,170 and married couples earning between $18,420 and $405,550.

Republicans don’t have enough votes, without help from Democrats, to override the veto. Lawmakers are not scheduled to return in session until mid-January.

Republicans gutted a $1 billion proposal by Evers to invest in child care, in which he called on the Legislature to pass in a special session in September.

Instead, the Legislature passed a measure that would have cut income taxes, created a child care tax credit, and increased income tax deductions for private school tuition.

The vetoed bill also had provisions to recognize some out-of-state professional credentials in Wisconsin, and to prohibit state examining boards from requiring counselors, therapists and pharmacists to pass tests on state law and regulations.

Evers, in his veto message, said the Republican bill failed to “meaningfully and sensibly address the workforce challenges that have plagued Wisconsin for a decade.”

“It is clear today Republicans remain disinterested in passing real solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our state,” Evers wrote.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said the bill that Evers vetoed “would have provided meaningful relief for Wisconsin families to address inflation and rising child care costs.”

The Evers proposal rejected by the Legislature would have spent $365 million on child care, $65 million on University of Wisconsin school funding, $200 million on a new engineering building at UW-Madison and $243 million toward a 12-week family medical leave program for Wisconsin workers.

Republicans, who control the Legislature, remain in talks with university leaders about funding the engineering building, though there doesn’t appear to be talks about doing the same with the second phase of the UW-La Crosse Prairie Springs Science Center that’s been on delay for over five years.

Earlier this month, more than 40 business leaders from across Wisconsin sent lawmakers a letter urging them to support the Madison project, saying a new engineering building would allow the university to serve more students and employers. The Wisconsin Alumni Association is also funding an advertising campaign about the need for more engineers in the state.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos last week that, “We would love to be able to find a way to get to yes” to approve the engineering building funding. But he said UW must control the number of positions it has added in recent years and address his concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programming.

Vos has argued that DEI programs are a waste of public funding and that the university should be focused on other priorities.

Vos has blocked pay raises for UW employees over his objection to the university’s DEI efforts. Evers has filed a lawsuit arguing that the Legislature is unconstitutionally stopping the pay raises, which were worked into the budget that Republicans wrote and Evers signed.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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1 Comment

  1. walden

    November 22, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    You forgot to mention Evers also vetoed a bill that would have eliminated state income tax for most retirees.

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