Governor Scott Walker wasted no time in addressing the state's budget surplus, promising to put over $800 million back into the pockets of taxpayers by reducing income and property taxes. Republicans quickly applauded the move.
"Well I don't know why anyone would vote against reducing property taxes," Senate President Mike Ellis- (R) Neenah says, "property tax payers aren't just republicans.
"When we see the revenue increases like they have over the past year, it's important that we return that directly back to the taxpayers, because tax cuts do encourage economic growth," Rep. Jim Steineke - (R) Kaukauna, says.
But Democratic legislators questioned the Governor's blueprint, citing needs for k-12 education and local government
"While we heard some of that, it's pennies in terms of restoring the cuts we've seen in the last few budgets," Rep. Gordon Hintz - (D) Oshkosh says. "That surplus they're talking about was created with the biggest cuts in k-12 education in our state's history "
That could have been better spent shared revenue for local government that are struggling to plow the roads, keep them salted," Sen. Dave Hansen - (D) Green Bay says. It would have been great to have public education get the funding that was cut
The Governor spoke about creating more jobs and moving Wisconsin forward, but democrats say the speech left too many needs unattended to.
"I think the governors under pressure from how bad the economy had been performing compared to neighboring states and its election year and he kind of went with the big show of I'm going to cut taxes look at me and I think we deserve better from our governor in terms of governing," Rep. Hintz says.
"It's campaign time and this was a campaign speech if there ever was one," Sen. Hansen adds.
Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke also released a statement criticising Governor Walker's Proposal. In it, she said:
Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke also released a statement criticising Governor Walker's Proposal. In it, she said:"It’s also important to remember that this is a projected surplus, based on pretty rosy projections, six months into a two year budget cycle. I don’t know too many Wisconsin families who would rush out to spend money they may not even have on new things, particularly when they’ve already racked up a bunch of debt and have other bills coming due."
Governor Walker says he'll call for a special session to move forward with the legislation on Thursday.