This is a dog of a budget and yet another missed opportunity by Republicans.
Republicans on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted along party lines Thursday to pass a two-year state budget that rejected many of Gov. Tony Evers’ top priorities, saying their plan lives within the state’s means while increasing funds for schools and roads.
Republicans also voted Thursday for plans that would cut taxes on the average taxpayer by about $75 in the 2019 tax year and $136 in 2020, which would amount to a $457.6 million income tax cut overall.
Speaking shortly after the vote, Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Senate Republicans would meet to discuss the budget on Tuesday. Some GOP senators, like Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, have said they’re unhappy with how much the bill would borrow and spend, not to mention increased fees on vehicle titles and registration.
The news outlets are horrible about reporting the budget. They spend a lot of time comparing it to Evers’ budget and talking about the politics of it without actually telling us what’s in the blasted budget. You can go to the JFC website to get details, but you have to dig.
In the last budget, the Republicans missed the opportunity to pass a real conservative budget and it was a substantial reason why a lot of Republicans sat home last year. Here they go again. I get that we have a liberal governor with a powerful veto pen, but the Republicans barely even phoned in a fight over spending. The budget just passed by the JFC increases spending by $4 billion dollars, lavishly rewards money pits like Transportation and UW without even a hint of reform, and jacks up fees. The legislative Republicans on the JFC and in leadership gave in to the pressures of Madison and ignored the people who elected them.
Then, perhaps realizing that this budget is bad, they throw in a tax cut as a separate bill to distract us from how awful the budget is – knowing full well that as a separate bill, Governor Evers will veto it. Imagine what kind of tax cut we could have if they actually cut spending and put the tax cut into the budget. Imagine if Republicans fought for their constituents like Democrats do.
Speaker Vos, Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald, and the Republicans on JFC should be ashamed of themselves.