LA CROSSE — Following his victory last fall, Gov. Tony Evers hit the road to visit communities across Wisconsin. After months of open discussions with community leaders, students, families and seniors, he introduced the People’s Budget.
Overwhelming support came from school administrators, local health clinics and community leaders for the People’s Budget that reinvests in our state. It was the first time in eight years Wisconsinites finally saw a budget vision that put their needs first. Yet despite the public support, Republicans dismantled it to further rig the economy against the middle class and advance their special-interest agenda.
Families and Wisconsin communities deserve better than the scrapped-together Republican budget proposal that continues to delay road projects, increase health care costs and shift money away from our classrooms and higher education.
To reestablish Wisconsin as a leader in K-12 education, the People’s Budget invested a total of $1.4 billion more into local classrooms. Republicans rejected that proposal and cut over $500 million in special education funding from Evers’ budget request.
Critics including many of his fellow Democrats claimed Tony Evers was too boring to be elected Wisconsin's governor. They were wrong. And at the recent Wisconsin Democratic Convention, he got his revenge: "Who's boring now?" he crowed, touting his veto pen as a powerful check on the Republican-run Legislature. On this week's "Center Stage" political podcast, Milfred and Hands play clips and comment on his recent convention speech, which reminds Milfred of the ending to "Revenge of the Nerds."
The People’s Budget accepted $1.6 billion in federal funds to expand Medicaid and increase affordable health care coverage to 82,000 Wisconsinites while also lowering premiums. Republicans blocked that proposal and rejected money that could be used to address the opioid epidemic, improve access to dental and mental health care, increase funding for nursing home and dementia care specialists, and pushed for a plan that covers fewer people with a higher price tag.
The People’s Budget made historic investments to help communities that are grappling with crumbling roads, potholes and flood damage.
Lawmakers did so through a $322 million two-year reduction in the biennial budget bill and by passing a separate bill that would further lower income taxes by about $136 million in 2020.
Gov. Tony Evers’ original budget proposal championed innovative solutions, promoted a fair economy and expanded opportunities for families and communities.
For too long, the progress of our state has been hindered by Republican tax giveaways that leave families paying more for less.
Let’s not settle for the broken Republican status quo. Let’s invest in our state and restore Wisconsin’s reputation as a place where the next generation wants to live, work and raise a family.