Governor Tony Evers promotes highlights of state budget during appearance in Eau Claire

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Governor Evers signed the next state biennial budget Thursday, but not before making some changes.

At a ceremony in whitefish bay Tuesday morning, the governor signed the bill while using his line-item veto power to eliminate some provisions. First News at Nine’s Max Cotton explains what’s in the next state budget.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is touting tax cuts and other measures as part of the state’s biennial budget that Evers signed Thursday in Whitefish Bay, Wis.

Evers appeared in Eau Claire at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.

He promoted a budget provision that will spend $15 million dollars on 22 new psychiatric hospital beds at Sacred Heart and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls.

“We will be able to help the folks here at HSHS expand psychiatric bed capacity for the region,” Evers said.

State Sen. Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, sits on the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, which writes the budget. She helped secure the funding for the mental health beds.

“The biggest advantage is to the individual who is having a mental health episode,” she said. “That individual is going to get more prompt and quick care.”

Earlier Thursday, Evers signed the budget during an event at an elementary school in Whitefish Bay. Evers said during Thursday morning’s appearance that he was keeping a campaign promise by “signing one of the largest tax cuts in history.”

The budget, written by the Republican-controlled legislature, called for $3.4 billion in tax cuts. In the version signed by Evers, the tax cuts will amount to abut $2.37 billion.

A post by the Republican Assembly’s Twitter account said that Evers “raised taxes by $1 billion,” referencing the difference between the budget the state Legislature sent to the Governor and the one signed by the Evers.

State Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu went a step further, writing that Evers “deserves no credit” for signing the budget and its tax cuts.

“He got boxed into a corner and rather than fight for his unpopular budget and risk a political knockout, he and his team threw in the towel and signed our responsible budget,” LeMahieu wrote.

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Andrew Hitt called the governor taking credit for the tax cuts “laughable,” an assertion Evers referred to as “laughable.”

“The reason that we have this tax cut is I signed it,” Evers said.

In Eau Claire, Max Cotton, First News at Nine.

Evers also vetoed the personal property tax repeal, saying he supports the idea but wants a separate bill with different language.

The state GOP released a statement today saying the governor taking credit for the budget’s tax cuts is quote “laughable”.

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