Wisconsin Republicans Votes to Scrap Governor’s Budget Proposals

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin budget committee voted along party lines Thursday to remove many of Gov. Tony Evers’ most significant proposals from his state budget. Removal kills them for now, but they could be added back later or passed as separate legislation.

Here’s what the proposals deleted from the budget would do:

— Expand Medicaid to cover an estimated 82,000 more poor people as part of a plan that would leverage additional federal money to spend an additional $1.6 billion on health care in Wisconsin.

— Legalize medical marijuana and de-criminalize the possession, manufacture and distribution of up to 25 grams of pot.

— Cap enrollment in private voucher schools starting in 2021.

— Increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.50 by 2023 and tie increases after that point to inflation.

— All-but eliminate a tax credit for manufacturers, which would save the state an estimated $516.6 million but which Republicans paint as a proposed tax increase on job creators.

— Repeal the state’s minimum markup on gasoline, which inflates the cost of gas to deter unfair competition. The committee was not striking Evers’ proposed 8-cent gas tax increase that’s part of his transportation-funding plan, but changes to that were expected to be made later.

— Make driver’s licenses available and grant in-state tuition to immigrants who are in the country illegally.

— Create automatic voter registration.

— Borrow up to $40 million to help cover the cost of replacing lead pipes, primarily in Milwaukee.

— Repeal the “right to work” law passed under former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. That law prohibits requirements for workers to pay fees covering a share of the costs of union representation.

— End a tax deduction for private school tuition.

— Close the so-called “dark stores loophole,” which allows big box retailers to save millions in property taxes by assessing the value of their active stores as if they were vacant.

— Restore powers that Republicans stripped from Evers and Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul during a lame-duck session in December.

— End a freeze on property tax levies for counties and municipalities, allowing them to increase their levies by 2%.

— Treat 17-year-olds as juveniles for most crimes, rather than as adults, as they are currently.