Governor Evers and Legislative Republicans at Odds over What to do with a State Budget Surplus

A rosier picture of Wisconsin’s budget has taken shape as the projected surplus forecast improved by nearly $2.9 billion this week.

Now, it is up to Republicans, who control the Legislature, to decide whether to spend or save that money. However, the state’s Democratic governor made a push of his own Thursday.

Under the governor’s plan, every Wisconsinite would get a $150 surplus refund, including dependents. For example, a family of four would get $600.

Additionally, Gov. Evers called for spending $131.8 million on tax relief specifically for caregivers and families, as well as investing another $750 million in K-12 education.

The proposals would cost the state roughly $1.7 billion of the projected revenue surplus.

“Senate Republicans will not gamble with a projected state surplus to fund Tony Evers’ re-election gimmicks,” Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg, said in a statement after the governor’s announcement.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he’s looking forward to discussing the surplus dollars with his colleagues, and when his party proposed a one-time tax credit, they knew it wouldn’t result in a long-term impact for the people of Wisconsin.

“With a surplus this size, we are committed to permanent, generational tax reform, as also seen in every Republican budget over the last decade,” Vos said in a statement.