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Assembly OKs Republican COVID spending plan; Evers vows veto

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 10:43 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - UPDATE: The Wisconsin Assembly has approved Republican plans for spending $3.2 billion in federal pandemic response aid.

The GOP has put together a package of bills that call for a $1 billion property tax cut; $200 million for small businesses; and $75 million in tourism grants.

The package also calls for $150 million for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities; a three-month summer sales tax holiday; and an unknown amount for reimbursing the state’s unemployment insurance fund.

The Assembly passed the bills Tuesday afternoon and evening.

The money currently is at Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ disposal, but Republicans have been clamoring for more control of it.

Evers has signaled he’ll veto the proposals.

Multiple assembly members have issued statements regarding the passage, including Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Tyler Vorpagel (R-Plymouth) and Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc).

Their full statements can be found below.

“Today, Legislative Republicans voted to support a package of legislation that prioritizes the more than $3 billion in discretionary federal relief funding sent to Wisconsin. We believe it is crucial to get these one-time funds to the areas where they will help the most: aid to households, long-term care facilities, broadband expansion, helping small businesses, and boosting rural economies. The Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch are two co-equal branches of government that have always worked together to approve state spending, which is why I voted for legislation previously so that we all had a seat at the table. The Governor chose to veto that bill, taking unilateral spending power for himself. The package we passed today, once again, gives the Governor an opportunity to make a good faith gesture and recognize the Legislative Branch should have a say in how the state spends money. There is certainly some overlap with the Governor in the areas we want to prioritize with these federal dollars. Helping small businesses, investing in tourism and broadband expansion are all areas we can easily find common ground. There are also areas and ideas we believe should also be a part of the plan, like investing in long-term care to take care of our most vulnerable population and sending aid to homeowners after the difficult past year. It is important to assist those hardest hit during this pandemic, helping them and our state continue to recover.”

Tyler Vorpagel

INITIAL REPORT: The Wisconsin Assembly is set to vote on Republican plans for spending $3.2 billion in federal pandemic response aid.

The GOP has put together a package of bills that call for a $1 billion property tax cut; $200 million for small businesses; and $75 million in tourism grants.

The package also calls for $150 million for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities; a three-month summer sales tax holiday; and an unknown amount for reimbursing the state’s unemployment insurance fund.

The Assembly is scheduled to vote on the bills during a Tuesday afternoon and evening floor session.

The money currently is at Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ disposal, but Republicans have been clamoring for more control of it.

Evers has signaled he’ll veto the proposals.

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