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Highlights from Governor Evers’ proposed 2023 Wisconsin Budget

Republicans Cut Hundreds Of Proposals, Billions Of Dollars From Evers' Budget
The Wisconsin State Capitol on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Madison, Wis. (Photo via WPR)

What are the highlights from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ 2023 – 2025 Wisconsin Budget? Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat from Wisconsin, presented his 2023–25 budget to the Republican-controlled legislature on February 15. Republicans have vowed to throw out the majority of Evers’ ideas and start again, like they did in the previous two budget cycles, despite the fact that he provided specific plans to increase school funding and lower taxes.


Highlights of Wisconsin Gov. Evers’ $104 billion budget plan

Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers released his 2023-25 budget to the Republican-controlled Legislature on Wednesday. He detailed plans to boost school funding and cut taxes, but Republicans have promised to scrap most of Evers’ ideas and start from scratch, as they have in the last two budget cycles. (Photo via AP Photo)

Following are some of the spending plan’s key recommendations.

  • Spend a total of $103.8 billion throughout the course of the two-year cycle, with total spending rising by over 18% to $52.1 billion in the first year and then decreasing by almost 1% to $51.7 billion in the second. In the first year, state spending would rise by 23%.
  • With a surplus of $34.1 million at the end of the two-year budgetary period.
  • Add 368 additional full-time jobs, or approximately 817 additional, to the mix. This comprises 51 more assistant district attorneys in addition to the 80 new positions being created at the state office in charge of processing professional licenses, which has come under fire for its lengthy wait times


  • 10% off the federal income tax for single people making up to $100,000 and married couples making up to $150,000.
  • By eliminating a tax credit for manufacturing and raising taxes on some capital gains, all taxes will be reduced by around $1.5 billion but revenue would increase by almost the same amount. Taxes would be reduced by around $81 million over the course of two years.
  • 20% of the state sales tax should go toward supporting local governments.
  • Let counties and more than two dozen sizable cities to put an increase in the sales tax on the ballot in order to pay for local services like policing, firefighting, and road maintenance.
  • Remove the property tax on particular pieces of office furniture.


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Wisconsin Budget on Education

  • More financing for K–12 public schools of $2.6 billion.
  • Allow in-state tuition rates to be paid at University of Wisconsin System campuses by Native Americans, people who are here illegally, and military personnel who move to Wisconsin.


Wisconsin Budget on Environment

  • $100 million will be used to fight the pollution and water poisoning caused by PFAS, or so-called everlasting chemicals.
  • Construct an Office of Environmental Justice to provide climate policy recommendations


HIGHLIGHTS: What's in the governor's budget proposal

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers was set to release his 2023-25 executive budget to the Legislature Wednesday evening. (Photo via


Wisconsin Budget on Health

  • Most private-sector employees will be entitled to paid family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks, with the state providing $240 million to launch the scheme before businesses take over paying in the long run. The list of acceptable justifications for taking leave will likewise be widened.
  • Accepting federal Medicaid expansion would reportedly save the state $850 million in the first year and $770 million in the second, according to the Evers administration. According to the Evers administration, this would add 897,000 low-income people to the state’s Medicaid program, including more than 30,000 people who do not already have insurance.
  • Increasing access to mental and behavioral health therapies and lowering suicide rates will each require $500 million.
  • $4 million will be used as a pilot project to examine young athletes with electrocardiograms (EKGs) for heart problems. Kai Lermer, a Waukesha kid who went into cardiac arrest while playing basketball in 2019, died of an undetected heart ailment, according to Evers, who made the announcement about the money in his honor.
  • Legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.


Republicans Cut Hundreds Of Proposals, Billions Of Dollars From Evers' Budget

The Wisconsin State Capitol on Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Madison, Wis. (Photo via WPR)


Odds and ends

  • $290 million will be used to make improvements to American Family Field. The Milwaukee Brewers have stated that in exchange for the money, they will extend their lease by an additional 13 years, to 2043.
  • Automatic voter registration for eligible citizens would be a requirement of the state department of transportation. People would only need to dwell in a municipality for 10 days — as opposed to the existing requirement of 28 days — in order to cast a ballot there. Municipal clerks would also be permitted to begin counting absentee ballots the day before an election.
  • A little over $175 million will be provided to help tenants, including free legal representation for low-income renters who are being threatened with eviction and funds for local governments to upgrade housing stock.
  • Give those who are residing here illegally driving licenses.
  • Restore a number of worker and collective bargaining rights that were eliminated by the Republican-controlled legislature when the last governor was in office.


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The Evers plans generally net out well for the state, according to Tim Smeeding, an economist at the UW-Madison Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs.

According to him, the Evers administration is requesting assistance “for people who need it the most” by reducing taxes. “The three groups are middle class, working class, and middle income.”

Smeeding also thinks that improvements to the child and dependent care tax credit and earned income tax credit could encourage more people to enter the workforce.

According to him, “we already have a system that gives a break to people at the top and this will give a significant benefit to individuals” at the bottom and in the middle of the wage scale.

He finds no proof that increasing tax cuts for the wealthy will have a positive impact on a state’s economy as a whole. This is the net result of the legislative leaders’ planned “flat tax,” which would lower everyone’s income tax rate to the same amount, 3.25%.

Additionally, he doesn’t believe it would attract more business or people to Wisconsin.

It’s quite obvious, says Smeeding. Give the already-residing wealthy folks incredibly low tax rates.




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