Gov. Tony Evers has until Friday to act on the state budget lawmakers sent him last week.
Evers can allow it to become law without his signature, use his partial veto authority, or reject the document outright.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, whose signature Friday sent the budget to Evers, said he is “optimistic” the governor will sign the appropriations bill.
“There is no good reason that Gov. Evers would not choose to sign the bills that we are moving forward, especially with a budget that we’re doing today,” he said, referencing legislation to delay the closure of Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison along with the budget.
Regardless of how Evers chooses to handle the two-year spending plan, Vos said lawmakers would “probably would not come back until October.”
“If there was some kind of a dire need, of course, I’d talk about it with our leadership team and Sen. Fitzgerald to see if we could come back sooner,” he said.
But the Rochester Republican noted that government funding will continue at the previous level if Evers chose to fully veto the document and thus Republicans would be unlikely to feel pressure to quickly propose a new budget.
“Last year we didn’t pass a budget until September and nobody noticed any difference,” he said.
President Trump on Monday signed into law a bipartisan bill to make improvements to the IRS.
“This signing is the culmination of a lengthy, bipartisan process undertaken by the Ways and Means Committee to implement pro-taxpayer reforms at the IRS for the first time in more than 20 years,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said in a statement. “New protections for low-income taxpayers, practical enforcement reforms and upgraded assistance for taxpayers and small businesses will all now go into place.”
The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Kevin Brady (Texas), also praised the measure’s enactment. “Thank you to President Trump for signing this historic legislation, which is the biggest and boldest step in over 20 years to redesign and restructure the IRS into an agency with a singular mission — quality taxpayer service,” he said.
The law makes a host of targeted improvements to the IRS, aimed at bolstering its customer service, modernizing its information technology, helping victims of tax-related identity theft and strengthening taxpayers’ rights during the IRS enforcement process.
Among the provisions in the new law are establishing an independent appeals office, preventing low-income taxpayers from having their cases referred to the IRS’s private-debt collection program and creating a single point of contact at the IRS for identity theft victims. It also includes a provision to increase the penalty for failing to file a tax return, so that the bill does not add to the deficit.
Wisconsin’s next two-year spending plan is headed to Gov. Tony Evers’ desk.
The state Senate voted 17-16 Wednesday to approve the state budget, following hard on the heels of the Assembly’s approval late Tuesday evening.
The spending plan now moves to Evers’ desk. The governor, who holds one of the most powerful veto pens in the country, hasn’t said what changes he plans to make to the bill or if he will reject it entirely.
“I’ve said all along that the will of the people is the law of the land, and that’s what will be on my mind as I review the Legislature’s changes to our budget,” Evers tweeted after the vote.
During debate Wednesday, GOP leaders touted the budget as a responsible middle ground between Evers’ $83.4 billion budget proposal and their own conservative principles.
The budget includes a $500 million increase for K-12 education in Wisconsin, roughly $1 billion for construction projects on UW System campuses, $393 million in new revenue for state road projects and a $588 million increase for Medicaid and other state health programs.
The budget also cuts income taxes. Under the plan, the average taxpayer would save about $75 in the 2019 tax year and $136 in 2020, which would amount to a $457.6 million income tax cut overall.
Gov. Tony Evers has signed into law a bill that eliminates a tax benefit for companies that move out of Wisconsin.
The measure he signed Monday targets tax deductions businesses claim when they move. Under current law, a business may deduct from its income or tax liability all expenses paid to move from one location to another.
The new law that passed the Legislature with bipartisan support does not allow for businesses to deduct expenses if they move out of state. The state Department of Revenue does not anticipate the change will result in a significant change in taxes paid, likely less than $1 million a year.
State of Wisconsin health officials have recommended limits on 27 pollutants found in groundwater, including one type of pollutant that’s increasingly in the headlines — PFAS.
The limits, known as enforcement standards, can be used to regulate facilities, practices, and activities that can affect groundwater.
More than 60% of state residents obtain their drinking water from groundwater, including many people living in Milwaukee suburbs.
Officials from the Dept. of Health Services (DHS), Dept. of Natural Resources (DNR), and Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection discussed the recommendations Friday at a news conference in Madison.
The portion of the proposal drawing the most initial attention covers substances known PFAS, or Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances. Those are human-made chemicals found in non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, firefighting foam, fabric protectors, and other products.
Wisconsin officials are proposing an enforcement standard for PFAS that is far more stringent than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends.
DHS also wants even tighter limits that could trigger an earlier step — preventive action aimed at protecting the public.
The DNR hasn’t revised state groundwater standards in ten years. The department says it gave a list of substances to DHS and asked DHS to review.