Evers not saying whether he intends to veto Republican-written budget

Evers not saying whether he intends to veto Republican-written budget
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Gov. Tony Evers is not saying whether he intends to veto the state budget approved by the Joint Finance Committee .

Evers told reporters in a news conference held at the Capitol Thursday morning with cabinet secretaries that he “still doesn’t know what the budget is,” given opposition from some Republican senators and the fact that the two houses haven’t approved the measure.

When asked whether he’ll veto the budget as it is currently, @GovEvers says, “We still don’t know what the entire budget is.” #news3now pic.twitter.com/LgEs52PPqf

— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) June 20, 2019

So far, two GOP state senators have said they will vote against the GOP-written budget, leaving Republicans with no room to spare to pass the two-year spending plan in its current form.

State Sen. David Craig, R-Big Bend, told conservative talk show host Jay Weber on WISN-AM on Thursday that he will vote “no” on the budget. Craig joins Republican state Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, who announced his opposition on Wednesday.

That leaves Republicans with the bare minimum 17 votes needed to pass the budget. Republicans re-worked Evers’ spending plan over the past several months, passing their version out of committee last week.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the budget next week, after the Assembly votes on the plan.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he doesn’t expect his house will make substantial changes to the state budget to win over Senate Republicans who have pledged to vote against the spending plan.

Evers told reporters Thursday that he was “not going to be out there messing with the state Senate. Our goal is to get my budget passed.”

.@GovEvers touts his plan to raise the gas tax 8 cents per gallon.

“We can ensure that drivers from Illinois and Minnesota who use our roads can pay their fair share,” Evers says. #news3now pic.twitter.com/Q2Hl0ZGUMq

— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) June 20, 2019

In the news conference, Cabinet secretaries shared why they thought the plan was better for state residents than the GOP-approved plan.

Their examples included an expansion of Medicaid funding and an increase in the gas tax that the state’s transportation secretary could get drivers from other states to help cover.

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