Gov. Tony Evers vetoed the $2 billion Republican tax cut bill Monday, calling it “totally unserious.”
The veto was expected because Evers opposed the Republican plan from the moment it was introduced as a replacement for the Democratic governor’s own workforce development package. Mr. Evers has previously vetoed similar income tax cuts passed by Congress.
Republicans do not have enough votes to override a veto without Democratic support. Lawmakers are not expected to return to session until mid-January.
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Republicans watered down a $1 billion proposal to invest in child care that Evers asked Congress to pass in a special session in September.
Instead, Congress passed measures such as cutting income taxes, creating a child care tax credit, and expanding the earned income tax credit for private school tuition. The vetoed bill would also prohibit Wisconsin from recognizing some out-of-state professional certifications and prohibit state examination boards from requiring counselors, therapists and pharmacists to pass exams related to state laws and regulations. It also included a provision to.
In his veto message, Evers said the Republican bill fails to “meaningfully and intelligently address the workforce challenges that have plagued Wisconsin for a decade.”
“Today, it is clear that the Republican Party is uninterested in offering real solutions to the most pressing challenges facing our country,” Evers wrote.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said the bill Evers vetoed “would have provided meaningful relief for Wisconsin families to deal with inflation and rising child care costs.” .
Evers’ proposal, which was rejected by Congress, would include $365 million for child care, $65 million to fund the University of Wisconsin, $200 million to build a new engineering building at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and funding for Wisconsin workers. $243 million was to be spent on a 12-week family and medical leave program. .
Republicans, who control the Legislature, are in talks with university leaders about funding the engineering building.
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Earlier this month, more than 40 business leaders from across Wisconsin wrote to lawmakers urging support for the project, saying the new engineering building will allow the university to serve more students and employers. sent. The Wisconsin Alumni Association is also funding an advertising campaign about the need for more engineers in the state.
“I would love to find a way to come to a consensus” to approve funding for engineering facilities, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said last week. But he said the university needs to manage the number of positions it has added in recent years and address concerns about its diversity, equity and inclusion programs.
Vos argued that DEI programs are a waste of public funds and that universities should focus on other priorities.
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Vos blocked pay raises for UW employees, citing opposition to the university’s DEI efforts. Mr. Evers filed a lawsuit arguing that the Legislature’s suspension of raises is unconstitutional.