WAUSAU - Something said by a Republican state lawmaker on Thursday might come as a surprise.
At a Wausau press conference, he said Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was right.
Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) and other Republicans agreed with Evers' plan to cut $340 million in middle class taxes.
They just want to do it differently from the Governor.
Late last month, the Walker administration reported Wisconsin had a surplus of more than $588 million. Assembly Republicans want to use part of that money to pay for a tax cut in 2020.
According to their numbers, the average middle class family would save more than $300.
"To me it makes sense. This is money that our taxpayers have paid in, and this is money that we look at as a surplus, [and] it should go back to our taxpayers," said Rep. John Spiros (R-Marshfield).
During the campaign, Evers proposed a similar tax cut. But he would pay for it by capping the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, which he said benefits too many millionaires.
The method is different, but the $340 million figure is the same between Evers and Republicans.
"Gov. Evers was right. It's time for a middle-class tax cut. The way we go about it is going to achieve goals for both the Assembly Republicans and for the Governor at the same time," Krug said. "It proves that we can work together on some common-ground issues. It sets the stage for the rest of the session. I think that's the most important thing here today, is that we are going to find ways to work together."
Democratic lawmakers sounded open to negotiation on Thursday.
"I hope we can come to a compromise [on] what we should do with this surplus, if it is there, and what services are best to meet the needs of everyone in Wisconsin," said Rep. Beth Meyers (D-Bayfield).
Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), however, said she hoped move like this came through the state budget process. Republicans said they were seeking a standalone bill prior to the state budget's due date on July 1.
"Tony Evers has said he wants to cut taxes," Shankland said. "Why don't we do it through the budget process, so that we're fair and transparent, and we're funding it in a way that's sustainable long-term?"
The Evers administration pointed out the Republican plan would be a one-time tax cut using surplus money. It said the governor's plan is sustainable into the future.
"It is our hope that legislators who believe in protecting the taxpayers and our state's bottom line will support the governor's sustainable tax plan," Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said in a statement.
The $588 million surplus figure was calculated by Walker's Department of Administration and announced in December.
But that number could change next week, as the Legislative Fiscal Bureau will come out with a new financial estimate.
MINNEAPOLIS - The white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck as he begged for air was arrested Friday and charged with murder, as authorities imposed overnight curfews to try to stem violent protests over police killings of African Americans that have spread from Minneapolis to cities across the country.
Protesters smashed windows at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, torched a police car and struck officers with bottles. Large demonstrations in New York, Houston, Washington, D.C., and other cities ranged from people peacefully blocking roads to clashing with police.
MADISON, WI - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is proud to host the 8th annual Wisconsin Free Fun Weekend. Park admission fees, fishing license and trail pass requirements will be waived on June 6-7 to encourage Wisconsinites to take advantage of and enjoy Wisconsin's outdoors.
During Free Fun Weekend June 6-7:
- No state park admission stickers or trail passes are required. - People may fish without a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps. All other fishing regulations apply. - ATV, UTVs, and OHMs are exempt from registration requirements. Resident and non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a trail pass to ride state ATV trails. - Capacity limits remain in effect at some properties to limit overcrowding. - Visitors are asked to recreate responsibly close to home and practice social distancing.
Before heading to a state park, trail or waterbody near you, here are some additional things to know:
- Residents and non-residents will not be required to have a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps. - All 2020-2021 fishing regulations apply including bag and length limits. - Due to the public health risk, loaner equipment will not be available. Anglers should bring their own equipment and bait. - Only anglers living in the same household (i.e. family members or roommates) should fish within six feet of one another. - Events such as fishing clinics are canceled. - Anglers are encouraged to have a backup plan in the event there is crowding or unsafe conditions where they plan to fish. We encourage everyone to fish safely and responsibly. - Locate launches and shorefishing access points near you.
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