Governor Evers Calls for Nearly $1.3 Billion in New Spending, Shared Revenue Boost

Governor Tony Evers Tuesday night called for nearly $1.3 billion in new spending on mental health initiatives, addressing PFAS and bolstering the state’s workforce while calling for a big boost in state aid to local governments.

In his annual State of the State speech, Evers also knocked a GOP proposal to implement a flat income tax as a giveaway to the wealthy. And he used his fifth address to back a proposal to use up to 20 percent of sales tax revenues to boost shared revenue.

Evers had previously expressed skepticism of the suggestion to dedicate one penny of the state’s five-cent sales tax to increase the aid Wisconsin sends municipalities and counties. But he pitched his new openness to the idea as an effort to find common ground as the Dem guv once again faces a GOP-controlled Legislature that blocked many of his priorities during his first four years in the office.

Evers said the idea would mean an additional $500 million a year in new resources for local costs, including public safety, transportation and health.

“The state must fulfill its obligation to fund our communities, just like we must fully fund our public schools and invest in clean water,” Evers said. “Our state, our economy and our workforce depend on these investments.”

Beyond the $500 million boost in shared revenue, tallied nearly $1.3 billion in spending proposals Evers included in his speech. The biggest chunk was $500 million to address mental health, while he also proposed more than $360 million to make child care more affordable and another $100 million to help address PFAS.