(The Center Square) – Republicans at the Wisconsin Capitol were quick to dismiss Gov. Tony Evers’ ideas in his State of the State speech on Tuesday evening.
“In spite of his claim to remain prudent with our expenditures, the governor seems intent to spend people’s money to massively expand government,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said after the speech.
Evers laid out a plan to spend $2 billion more for public schools, and $1.3 billion on new mental health programs, a statewide chemicals testing program, and workforce training. It’s a starting point of sorts as the foundations for the state budget negotiations begin and pick up pace next month with Evers’ plan and one crafted by the Legislature with Republican majority.
“At every turn,” said Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Cedarburg, “he finds new ways to spend the hard-earned resources of Wisconsin taxpayers. It is the ‘Madison knows best’ mentality on steroids.”
Rep Tyler August, R-Lake Geneva, the second-ranking Republican in the state Assembly, said Wisconsin is in its great fiscal position with a $6.6 billion surplus because Republicans held the line on spending, and refused to grow government programs.
“I fear that Governor Evers’ expensive wish list will squander taxpayer dollars to grow the government bureaucracy unnecessarily,” August said. “In contrast, Republicans are focused on funding education, addressing the labor shortage, reducing crime, and providing even further tax relief to families and small businesses.”
Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine, added, “Not one word of Governor Evers’ State of the State address was spent on the top issue facing Wisconsin families – inflation. Not a single, solitary word. And, although he used the words ‘public safety,’ he had absolutely no game plan addressing the people too scared of crime to leave their homes.”