Local lawmakers talk about proposed state budget

Local News

Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The state budget is on its way to Governor Evers’ desk.  Late Wednesday night, the state senate passed the massive spending bill. But what’s will the state spend 87 billion dollars on the next two years?

First News at Nine’s Max Cotton has a look at the proposed state budget.

State legislative republicans representing districts across western Wisconsin spent Thursday morning praising the budget approved Wednesday night.

One thing they highlighted: Tax cuts.

Using surplus dollars, the legislature’s budget bill would cut income and property taxes by about 3-and-a-half billion dollars.

State Senator Kathy Bernier says the average Wisconsin family can expect to see that difference quickly since the budget also adjusts how taxes are withheld.

“The withholding schedules will change and so they’ll see a difference in their paycheck pretty rapidly,” said Bernier.

State Senator Jeff Smith said, “I hope that that makes a difference for people. I’m not sure it makes a difference for everyone as it should. It should have been a more progressive tax cut, but it is what it is. And again, it’s a budget that we’re going to build on.”

Smith was one of three senate democrats who voted in favor of the budget proposal.

He says though he voted for the bill. He hopes Governor Evers will use his line-item veto to make it better.

The senators agree, they’re both glad to see the budget include 15-million dollars for mental health beds at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s Hospitals.

“It provides grant funding for 22 more mental health beds.”

“It’s something that was long overdue. I just hope that we can actually do more across the state,” said

Evers moved the money allocated for the beds two years ago to another mental facility.

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

Evers has six days, excluding this Sunday, to decide how to proceed.

If he were to outright veto the budget, the state would be putting more than two billion dollars of federal funds at risk.

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