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Evers calls on Legislature to approve $150 taxpayer refund

Governor Evers took time in his State of the State address last night to highlight Wisconsin’s economic recovery during the pandemic.

He shared all the pandemic relief funding that dispersed to businesses, agriculture, transportation projects, and to broadband infrastructure.

Wisconsin’s unemployment is at 2.8 percent, lower than it was before the pandemic hit.

Evers also talked about the challenges that have come with the recovery.

Many businesses are struggling to hire enough employees.

National inflation is the highest it’s been in decades.

Evers believes Wisconsin’s budget surplus could help solve some of these issues.

He wants to use the surplus to give Wisconsinites a refund of $150. Evers also wants to invest $130 million into providing tax relief through child and caregiver tax credits.

“My plan also works to reduce barriers to work so we can help fill job openings across our state. Having access to quality, affordable childcare and caregiving continue to be a barrier for folks who want to join our workforce,” said Evers.

Evers also wants to spend $750 million dollars of the surplus to go to schools.

He also criticized Republicans who want to wait until the next budget for any spending of surplus. Evers announced plans to call a special session of the legislature to take up his surplus plan.

“Indifference in this building is getting expensive, folks. And let me be frank: the people who will bear the burden of inaction are almost certainly not the people sitting in this chamber tonight,” said Evers.

Talking to reporters after the address, Speaker Robin Vos said Evers was focused on winning his re-election, not paying attention to the needs of Wisconsinites.

“What we’re seeing today was really political statements, not reality that we are looking for in a Governor,” said Vos.

Vos says the state needs to figure out what to do with inflation in the long term, not a $150 one-time check.

Evers also announced that he was tapping federal pandemic relief money to pay for continuing a tuition freeze at the University of Wisconsin System for two years, increasing mental health services at schools and for Wisconsin National Guard members and supporting emergency medical services.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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