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JFC Ready to Pull Nearly 300 Items From Evers’ Budget

By John Forester | May 1, 2021

From WisPolitics.com . . .

The Joint Finance Committee will take its first votes on the guv’s budget Thursday with a plan to strip out his calls to expand Medicaid, legalize marijuana and allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver licenses and pay in-state tuition at Wisconsin colleges and universities.

Many of the Evers-backed provisions that will be targeted in the first motion would repeal policies Republicans put in place under then-Gov. Scott Walker. That includes the governor’s calls to restore collective bargaining powers for most public employees, bringing back the prevailing wage on public works projects, and repealing proposed changes to unemployment insurance.

The GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee took a similar action with Evers’ first budget two years ago.

The list of items to be pulled this year, though, is longer with more than 280 provisions that Evers had included in the $91 billion budget that he unveiled in mid-February. Two years ago, the GOP motion pulled more than 130 items from the guv’s first budget.

The co-chairs also announced some procedural changes to how they will approach the budget compared to last time. The committee will use the adjusted base for each agency as its starting point. That means it would take a majority vote of the committee, controlled 12-4 by Republicans, to add in any of Evers’ proposals.

Two, the committee plans to approve standard budget adjustments and any sum sufficient appropriations in one step rather than agency by agency. The offices of the co-chairs said that is being done to allow the committee to do a deeper dive on each agency budget and to have a better understanding upfront of how much money the committee has to spend or put toward tax cuts.

Read the overview of Thursday’s exec session and the items to be removed here.

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