Gov. Tony Evers gave a State of the State speech in which he touted a bipartisan budget that no Democrats supported, bring “science” back to Wisconsin (presumably the Capitol Christmas tree controversy) while ignoring the scientific research on charter and choice schools, and promised a “nonpartisan” redistricting commission which would be appointed by him (so it’s really a Democratic commission).
At least Evers didn’t use foul language again.
Reaction from Republicans is about what you can expect: skeptical.
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau):
“During his first year in office, Governor Evers pushed a liberal agenda that taxed too much, spent too much, and would have undone a large number of reforms that turned Wisconsin’s economy around. I’ve been proud to stand with my conservative colleagues in the Senate in opposition to his left-leaning policies.
“It is my hope that the governor will spend what is left of the legislative session to focus on issues that put Wisconsin families first. I’m eager to hear his plans for helping agriculture in Wisconsin. Additionally, the Senate will continue our efforts to crack down on repeat violent criminals, and work on a tax cut for hard-working Wisconsinites.”
“Over the last decade, Wisconsin has made tremendous strides. The state of our state is strong. Republican-backed reforms continue to fuel our state’s economy and have our state budget in the best shape in decades. I am confident that we will continue to move Wisconsin forward.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester)
“It’s disappointing that Governor Evers would rather pose for holy pictures than actually work with the legislature. His speech tonight was more about politics than anything else.
“Governor Evers is finally acknowledging the needs of rural Wisconsin. He has basically ignored our rural areas his entire term up to this point with an agenda focused on Madison and Milwaukee.
“While the governor talks about bipartisanship, the legislature actually delivers on it. I’m proud of the bipartisan track record in the Assembly with 95 percent of the votes getting bipartisan support last year. We have three bipartisan Speaker’s task forces to address important issues in the state: water quality, suicide prevention and adoption. Instead of playing politics, Republicans are working hard to bring people together.
“During the final months of the legislative session, I look forward to taking up legislation to improve the state’s water quality and help make communities safe through the Tougher on Crime package. Republicans will continue to block Governor Evers’ liberal agenda and ensure the state moves forward without expanding welfare, overspending or overtaxing the citizens of Wisconsin.”
Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Tyler August
Sen. Dave Craig (R-Big Bend)
“Governor Evers proved again tonight that he has no shortage of ideas on how to spend your tax dollars but zero ideas on how to strengthen Wisconsin’s workforce, grow private-sector wages, or lessen the tax burden on Wisconsin families.
“Program after program, commission after commission, panel after panel… It is clear that Governor Evers thinks more government is the solution to all of our problems. I believe that individuals, not government, should control their destiny.
“This is the very time when we should be inviting our over-taxed neighbors to the south to join our strong, thriving economy. Instead, we have a governor who is searching for every opportunity possible to expand government and cater to Madison special interests.
“Republican legislative majorities will continue to take a commonsense approach and govern responsibly by limiting government overreach while supporting a free-market economy, which is the very recipe that has led to one of the most prosperous decades in state history.”
Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Cedarburg)
“Wisconsin continues on the right path thanks to the work of Legislative Republicans. In his speech tonight, Governor Evers articulated a vision that may resonate in Madison and Milwaukee, but falls well short of the values and priorities of my constituents. The Governor plans to spend too much, tax too much and increase the size of state government at the expense of hard working Wisconsinites.
“While Governor Evers acknowledged the challenges facing rural Wisconsin, his policy proposals during his first year as Governor have not aided farmers or their neighbors. He proposed ending the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit, a key driver of economic growth in Wisconsin. His proposed budget prioritized urban schools and their students over their rural peers. His agencies have also pursued policies and regulations that will increase the cost for businesses throughout our state, including farmers. Governor Evers’ agenda will not benefit rural Wisconsin or my constituents.
“I look forward to working on behalf of my constituents to ensure that Wisconsin continues on the path of prosperity and success.”
Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on
“Governor Evers’ sudden concern for rural Wisconsin and our agriculture industry is ironic given that just a year ago he proposed raising taxes on the agriculture industry to pay for expanded welfare programs,” said Rep. Nygren. “Governor Evers spent his first year in office catering to his far-left liberal friends in Madison. No amount of rhetoric can cover his failed
record of putting rural Wisconsin and our farmer behind liberal special interests.”
“Unfortunately, Governor Evers spent his first year in office trying to undo all the positive momentum of the last eight years,” said Rep. Nygren. “Between the largest property tax increase in the last 10 years, attempts to put more Wisconsinites on welfare, and a blatant disregard for state law, the last year for Governor Evers has been unacceptable. Wisconsin needs Governor Evers to change course in year two.”
“The state of the state is strong, not because of Governor Evers, but in spite of him,” said Rep. Nygren. “Republicans in the Legislature have spent the last year listening to families all across Wisconsin and advancing an agenda for all of Wisconsin, not just Madison and Milwaukee. Governor Evers needs to reverse course and begin listening to all of Wisconsin instead of only the liberal special interests.”
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee
“I was encouraged to hear Governor Evers celebrate the investments in
the budget passed by the Joint Committee on Finance and Republicans even though not a single Democrat voted in favor of the plan.
Ironically, Evers’ 95% bipartisan rate could have been even higher if Democrats had supported these investments instead of playing politics.
Wisconsin continues to thrive because Republicans prevented Governor Evers from hiking taxes by more than $1 billion and putting billions
more on the credit cards.
Instead, Republicans delivered a balanced budget that taxpayers could
afford. We delivered a middle-class tax cut and provided the largest real
dollar increase for K-12 education in our state’s history. Our reforms and careful budgeting helped turn around Wisconsin’s economy, and we won’t go back.
It’s great to hear Governor Evers is traveling the state, but too often his
ideas continue to originate from Madison. He ignored rural Wisconsin
in his last budget and even tried to raise taxes on businesses that supply
farmers. I’m glad he is realizing his mistake.
I’m disappointed the governor continues to ignore the workforce shortage in our state. It’s also shocking that the former DPI Secretary refuses to address why so many students aren’t reading at their grade level. Instead of lecturing, I encourage him to listen to voices throughout Wisconsin and learn to work together on these issues.
I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I have accomplished, not only this session, but over the last decade. Our reforms and investments are working. The state of the state is strong. Now, it’s time to continue moving Wisconsin forward.”
Representative Jessie Rodriguez (R-Oak Creek)
“The state of our state is strong thanks to years of Republican leadership. We passed a smart budget in June that resulted in historic investments in our roads and schools, and doubled funding for school mental health programs. These are the budget priorities that my constituents asked for, and I’m proud we were able to deliver on them.
Our responsible budget also provided a tax cut of more than $400 million, and like the Governor pointed out I authored Assembly Bill 251 which provides additional tax relief for middle class families. We also eliminated the Miller Park Tax, resulting in a reduction in the sales tax for Milwaukee County and surrounding areas.
Unlike the Governor originally suggested, we were able to provide these tax cuts without eliminating the manufacturing and agriculture tax credit. These reforms will reduce the tax burden on Wisconsinites and allow them to keep more money in their pockets.
All these reforms were possible while building our rainy day fund to $649 million, its largest total in state history. Our economy is strong, and we are going to continue to make sure we put more money into our rainy day fund in case of an economic downturn.
Unfortunately, despite Governor Evers making a promise to the people of Wisconsin to embrace divided government and work in a bipartisan way, he has failed to work alongside the legislature. While 95% of the votes in the Assembly have been bipartisan, the Governor has been bypassing the legislature and issuing a record number of executive orders for a Wisconsin governor in his first year.
I’m hopeful that in the remaining months of session we can move forward on issues that represent the needs of the people of Wisconsin.”
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton)
“Tonight, Governor Evers highlighted the amazing impact of our Agriculture industry in Wisconsin. Agriculture is key to our success and our way of lives. I’m proud to represent and support many farming communities and I plan to review Governor Evers’ proposals with an open mind.
“However, some of the items Governor Evers outlined tonight would grow government and increase spending. More than ever we have to remain prudent in our budget and policy decisions so that we do not reverse course on the progress we’ve made. When I think back to my first State of the State in 2011, I remember being concerned about how we were going to bounce back from the Great Recession, get people back to work, and reduce our $3 billion structural deficit. Nine years later, the economy is strong, unemployment is at historic lows, our GAAP deficit is down 74%, and our rainy day fund is nearly $650 million.
These are things I’m proud we’ve accomplished over the last nine years and I’m committed to making sure Wisconsin remains a wonderful place to live, work and start a business.”