All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Evers’ Choice: Sign budget or lose federal funding

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — The Legislature’s Republican majority has beaten Gov. Tony Evers at his own game, effectively taking away the Democrat’s big veto threat with a smart budget maneuver.

Evers has said at different turns he might veto a Republican-built budget that didn’t include his costly welfare/Medicaid expansion or didn’t dump a lot more money on K-12 education or didn’t include his liberal wish list ideas … The list of threats and demands goes on.

But a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (obtained by Wispolitics) spells out the inconvenient truth for Evers: vetoing the budget bill in full would cost Wisconsin about $2.2 billion in federal pandemic relief. That includes $1.54 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding targeted for Wisconsin’s schools.

Federal COVID relief laws require states to maintain funding for K-12 and higher education at certain levels under so-called Maintenance of Efforts agreements.

The budget as written, passed this week by the Legislature, meets the Maintenance of Effort requirements. If Evers vetoes the 2021-23 budget, Wisconsin would continue to operate on current budget spending levels. The existing level of education funding doesn’t meet the federal mandates.

Republican lawmakers have said they are not going to come back in to debate another budget proposal should Evers follow through with his veto threats. So — poof — the federal funds are gone. And the “education governor” would make them disappear through his all-or-nothing style of governance.

It’s a budget that effectively boxes Evers in, Capitol sources told Empower Wisconsin this week before the Assembly and Senate floor sessions. It delivers what conservatives sought — an unprecedented $3.4 billion in tax relief, the elimination of a tax bracket and a business tax altogether, and spending increases under 2 percent each year of the budget. And the spending plan, rebuilt from the ground up by Joint Finance Committee, cleans out hundreds of Evers’ left-wing initiatives, including major welfare expansion.

“I don’t know what the governor intends to do … I do know it would be politically foolish, bordering on suicidal, for him to reject” the historic tax cuts, said Sen. Duey Stroebel’s office. The Saukville Republican is a member of the Joint Finance Committee and a fiscal hawk.

Democrats — not many — but some, joined Republicans in passage of the budget bill this week. That’s a rare occurrence in deeply divided Wisconsin politics.

As it stands, sources say Evers is going to have to grit his teeth and sign the budget, with whatever partial vetoes he can scratch out. If he doesn’t, he’ll be the bad guy he accused Republicans of being last month when it looked like the JFC didn’t offer enough education funding to meet the federal COVID aid requirements.

Listen to more:

Explore More
Spotlight: ‘Damning’ new emails on Zuckerbucks saga

Spotlight: ‘Damning’ new emails on Zuckerbucks saga

New emails show “damning” evidence of coordination to break Wisconsin election law by Mark Zuckerberg-funded liberal activist groups and the…

Read More »

October 19, 2021
‘Completely abandoned’

‘Completely abandoned’

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says the Biden administration has “completely abandoned” residents and ranchers in Texas and “all the people…

Read More »

October 19, 2021
Evers choses social programming over public safety

Evers choses social programming over public safety

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — After villainizing law enforcement and placating the radical “defund the police” movement, Gov. Tony Evers…

Read More »

October 19, 2021
UW defends radical indoctrination training

UW defends radical indoctrination training

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — University of Wisconsin-Madison’s critical race theory-centric course mandate is about ensuring “safe academic and work…

Read More »

October 18, 2021
Tool of the Week: Space Oddity Kamala Harris

Tool of the Week: Space Oddity Kamala Harris

Little is real about the Biden presidency. The Democrat, an empty vessel of the radical left, has been engaged in…

Read More »

October 18, 2021
Economic Plummet, Biden did that

Economic Plummet, Biden did that

By M.D. Kittle MADISON — Have you seen the Joe Biden stickers popping up on gas pumps? The adhesive cutouts…

Read More »

October 18, 2021

1 thought on “Evers’ Choice: Sign budget or lose federal funding

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *