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Assembly Passes Budget; Senate to Vote on Spending Plan Today

By John Forester | June 30, 2021

From WisPolitics.com …

The Senate is set to begin debate on the budget early this afternoon after it passed the Assembly with four Dems joining all Republicans in backing the $89.2 billion two-year package.

Rep. Steve Doyle, of Onalaska, was joined by fellow Dems Deb Andraca, of Whitefish Bay, Beth Meyers, of Bayfield, and Don Vruwink, of Milton, in voting yes.

Doyle said his vote for the budget wasn’t one of joy, but sadness. Still, he predicted Gov. Tony Evers would rework the plan with his partial veto authority, similar to what he did two years ago.

“I’m not sure it’s harmful. I just don’t think it’s helpful,” Doyle said. “But I have confidence our governor will exercise his veto pen to turn it into a budget that I think will be helpful to our state.”

Two years ago, all Dems and three Republicans voted against the budget in the Assembly before Evers signed the document after using his broad partial veto authority. That put Dems in the awkward spot of unanimously voting against a budget that Evers would later champion after making changes.

Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee, knocked the GOP version of the budget, saying it was driven by an anti-Evers hysteria. He jokingly urged his Republican colleagues to get vaccinated against “Evers fever” and demanded to know what the Republican vision was for the state. He pointed to other GOP-run states that have proposed new, innovative programs. Instead, the centerpiece of the Wisconsin Republican plan is a tax cut paid for with a surplus that Goyke said was driven by the latest stimulus package President Biden signed and the successful roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine Evers has overseen.

“What’s the new idea? Where are you taking us? What is your vision? You have defined success by comparing yourself to Tony Evers,” Goyke said.

But Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, countered the ideas from Evers’ February budget amounted to a tired liberal wish list of one government program after another. He said that’s why one of the first moves Republicans took in rewriting the document was to strip out many of the guv’s ideas.

He argued the only answer that Dems seem to have is to turn to the government for answers.

“If I look at the fastest-growing states, they aren’t the ones that have the fastest-growing government,” Vos said.

Vos predicted Evers will sign the budget.

The Senate is expected to convene at 1 p.m. today.

See more on yesterday’s debate here.

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