‘Badger bounce backwards’: GOP leaders signal they’ll kill many of Gov. Evers’ budget proposals

MADISON, Wis. — In a press conference Tuesday night, Republican legislature leaders called many of Gov. Evers’ newly-unveiled budget proposals “divisive”, and signaled polices like a partial repeal of Act 10 and marijuana legalization are dead in the water.

The Governor delivered his biennial budget address Tuesday evening, unveiling a $91 billion budget with $1 billion in tax increases with policies focused on education, justice reform, labor rights, and unemployment.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said the budget brief hadn’t been shared with Republican leaders in advance.

“On first brush it really looks like this is not the ‘Badger Bounce Back’ plan; it’s the Badger bounce backwards plan,” he said in a press conference with other Republican legislative leaders following the address, using the Governor’s name for the proposals.

There’s room for bipartisan agreement in areas like broadband expansion, Rep. Vos said, but says policies will take a back seat as the budget heads to the GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee where legislators will rewrite it over the coming weeks and months. From there, it will head back to the Governor’s desk where he can exercise his line-item veto for limited control.

Divisive policies like a partial repeal of Act 10 and marijuana legalization, he said, should go through the legislative process rather than the budget committee.

“Putting poison pills in the budget–which are things he clearly knows have zero chance of ever passing a Republican legislature like the repeal of Act 10 or legalization of marijuana–really looks like he’s not serious about governing, he’s serious about politics,” Vos said, adding the proposals seem to speak to the governor’s plans for reelection rather than governing.

Many of the proposals, like accepting federal dollars for Medicaid expansion, minimum wage increases, and others were rejected by Republicans two years ago in Gov. Evers’ first biennial budget plan.

“He’s introduced exactly–maybe even a worse budget–than he did two years ago,” Republican Senate leader Devin LeMahieu said.

Click here for a complete breakdown of Gov. Evers’ proposals.