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Analysis: Evers’ budget bounces Wisconsin backwards

By The Institute for Reforming Government

Gov. Tony Evers’ $91 billion “Badger Bounce Back” budget proposal would bounce the Badger State backwards.

As the economy teeters between recession and economic recovery, the governor takes from the wallets of hard-earning Wisconsinites and businesses by more than $1 billion and irresponsibly – and unnecessarily – turns a projected budget surplus into a deficit. While families all over the state worry about their children’s learning during the pandemic, Evers’ budget would limit educational options and throw millions of dollars at schools that are not open five days a week.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

➢ Total tax increases of more than $1.3 billion on families and businesses while allowing local governments to increase the sales tax which hits low-income and middle-class families the hardest.

➢Turns a projected budget surplus into a billion dollar structural deficit. On top of this, 48 hours after the budget was introduced, Gov. Evers signed a bill, which we support, into law adding hundreds of millions of dollars to his own deficit. Taken together, with the requirement to balance the budget, this is a proposed budget that lacks the seriousness needed for the state’s most important governing document.

➢ Record state spending on K-12, on top of $927 million (and more likely on the way) in federal COVID aid, while doing nothing to re-open schools five days a week and slamming the doors shut on students who have sought a better educational option with a voucher, public charter, or a private school.

➢ Dramatic expansion of government-run healthcare by expanding Medicaid(through Obamacare) and creating a new “Public Option” that would send a shock to the individual and employer health insurance markets.

➢State spending increases by more than 9% at a time when Wisconsin employment has decreased by 208,100 workers.

The simplest critique of Gov. Evers’ second state budget proposal is that it is irresponsibly anti-business. If enacted, this bill would severely erode our state’s business climate and economic competitiveness. -Kurt Bauer, CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC)

The governor’s budget proposal includes many non-fiscal policy initiatives, such as:

➢ Requiring “incorporating climate change and the human effect of climate change” into model academic standards.

➢ Creating a so-called “student loan bill of rights.” This is an attempt to create new burdensome regulations that will make college more expensive, reduce options for students, and put state bureaucrats between students and their college or university.

➢ Repealing Act 10 by giving public unions the full ability to collectively bargain with public employees.

➢ Repealing Right to Work, which ended compulsory union dues.

➢ Repealing prevailing wage reforms, which have brought down the costs of government projects.

➢ Legalizing marijuana.

➢ Expanding background checks for firearm purchases.

➢ Requiring every agency to hire a cabinet- level equity official and an equity officer.

Read more at reforminggovernment.org

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