Burke Calls Walker’s Plan For Budget Surplus ‘Irresponsible’

Democratic Candidate Says She Would Use Surplus For Paying Off Long-Term Debt

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke says Gov. Scott Walker’s plan for handling a projected state budget surplus is “irresponsible.”

Walker wants to set aside about half of a nearly billion-dollar projected state budget surplus for income and property tax reductions.

“A projected surplus six months into a two-year budget cycle, and that is being spent rather than paying down debt after $1.2 billion of debt has been incurred?” said Burke. “Irresponsible is the right word.”

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Burke was a state commerce secretary under Gov. Jim Doyle. She wants to use half the projected budget surplus to pay down long-term debt and use the rest for property tax relief and to improve technical education.

Walker campaign spokesman Jonathan Wetzel said Burke had a hand in creating budgets that increased taxes, spending, and deficits. Wetzel said Walker has turned a large state deficit into nearly a billion-dollar surplus, and questioned Burke’s use of the term “irresponsible” to describe what he sees as returning money to the taxpayers who earned it.

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