A day after releasing his first budget proposal in office, Governor Tony Evers talked to Local 5 about why he thinks his plan is the right one for Wisconsinites.
Evers unveiled the $83.4 billion 2-year budget proposal during a joint meeting of the state legislature Thursday night. Included in the proposal is an 8 cent increase to the state’s gas tax. Evers says he believes a reduction in the excise tax on gas could ultimately offset the gas tax increase, resulting in a per-gallon price decrease.
“We believe, at the end of the day, that many people will see lower prices at the pump,” Evers said.
“But the most important thing is that 8 cents gets put directly into the transportation fund, which we’ll use for fixing roads, fixing bridges, making sure that our state is safe.”
The governor also wants to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize possessing up to 25 grams of recreational marijuana.
“People also understand how difficult it is to get involved in the criminal justice system for possessing a very, very small amount of marijuana,” the governor said, “and we believe it should be decriminalized. Simple as that.”
He also wants to raise the minimum wage incrementally over the next few years to eventually hit $15 an hour.
“We believe that if we do it incrementally over time, over a period of time, we will be able to do that, reach a reasonable place, and it will not impact businesses of our state,” he said.
The governor’s budget proposal will now go into the legislature’s hands to decide whether or not it passes. If the legislature has not passed a budget Evers can sign by July 1st when the new budget year starts, the current one will remain in effect until a new one is passed.
You can read more about Governor Evers’ proposed budget here.