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Northern Wisconsin Lawmakers Leery Of Walker’s Budget Proposal

Senators Tiffany, Bewley Question Impacts Of Tax Cuts And Spending

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Northern Wisconsin lawmakers are expressing concern about spending in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal.

Although, Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst said he was happy to see more money for schools, rural broadband and workforce development in the governor’s budget.

“The level of increased spending (I’m) a little bit concerned about,” Tiffany said. “We need to make sure that these projections turn into actual numbers. That’s the one thing that gives me pause with this budget. Are these increased projections for tax revenues in the next couple years going to be there because we do not want to go back to the bad old days of deficits. The last three budgets have been balanced. We need to make sure this one is also.”

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Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, said the budget doesn’t do enough to make up for past budget cuts to education and increases borrowing. She fears what tax cuts and spending increases may mean for other parts of the budget.

“Looking through the eyes of the people I represent, they want good schools, good roads. They want to know that their jobs are going to pay wages that will give them good quality of life,” said Bewley. “While there may be little dribbles of small change increases and a little bit of wattle and daub onto our schools and university system, we are far, far short of where we need to be to providing the people of northern Wisconsin with what they deserve.”

Walker has proposed half a billion dollars in borrowing and delaying some road projects. The governor’s budget proposal also includes $600 million in tax cuts and a tuition cut and freeze for UW System others. UW institutions would see about $135 million more and public schools are slated to receive around $650 million more under the governor’s proposal.

Editor’s note: Senators Tiffany and Bewley were guests on Hear Me Out.

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