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Gov. Evers lays map for common ground, discourse needed in State of State

Madison, Wis. (WXOW) – Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers wrapped up his first State of the State Address Tuesday night calling on both sides to work in the spirit of bipartisanship.

The speech outlining focuses on education, healthcare, transportation funding and even presenting a tax cut for middle class families.

Evers got the largest applause from the Democratic Party when he announced the state will pull out of the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. For education, Evers proposed a $600 million increase for special education funding and increase funding “five-folds” for mental health programs in K-12 schools.

He also urged Republican lawmakers to work under the proposed budget from his office and not create their own.

“That means instead of taking up an entirely new budget of its own, I expect the legislature to take up the budget I crafted by and with the people of the state of Wisconsin,” he told the audience.

Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) responded to the speech saying Republicans can find common ground with Governor Evers, but not at the expense of taxpayer’s money.

Evers proposed paying for the tax cut by capping the corporate tax credit. Vos says Republicans agree on the tax cut to middle class families, but not at the expense Evers proposed.

“We can make this middle class tax cut a reality, but we have to have a willing hand on the other side,” Vos said after the speech. “The only bottom line we have is we are not going to raise somebody’s taxes to lower another’s when there is plenty of money left to do it on their own.”

Rep. Jill Billings (D-La Crosse) applauds the idea of a tax cut and believes Evers is setting up the tax credit to be successful long-term by adjusting a tax break given to those making over $1 million.

“…and saying well really is that where a tax break is given or is it with hard working middle class that is, you know, the economic driver here,” Billings said on the phone.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) says he was disappointed with the speech, saying “he spent a lot of money and I don’t even know where the revenue’s coming from for some of these proposals.”

Evers ended his speech by saying the legislature will not quote “devolve into disrespect”.

Jeremy Culver

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