Republican-controlled budget committee to kill marijuana legalization 

Legalizing marijuana, funding a $290 million renovation of the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium, and creating a paid family leave program are among the more than 500 items proposed by Gov. Evers that the Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee plans to kill today with a single vote, the Associated Press reports. The vote kicks off the committee’s work reshaping the nearly $104 billion, two-year budget that Evers submitted in February. 

The state has a projected $7 billion budget surplus, money that Evers had proposed tapping to pay for a wide array of spending priorities. Other proposals of his slated to be stripped from the budget include a 10% income tax cut targeting middle- and low-income earners; $270 million to add more mental health providers in schools; freezing enrollment in the state’s private school voucher program; accepting federal Medicaid expansion; raising the minimum wage; implementing automatic voter registration; and repealing the state’s right to work law.  

Republicans have been working on their own plans to cut income taxes, increase mental health services in schools, and expand funding for the school voucher program. 

Additional aspects of Evers’ budget remain for now, but they may also face Republican pushback. These include increasing special education funding by $1 billion and allowing schools to spend $350 more per student in the 2023-24 school year and $650 more the following year, raising state-imposed revenue limits.  

Starting today, and likely continuing into June, the Joint Finance Committee will take a series of votes to build its own two-year spending plan, which will then go to the Senate and Assembly for approval. Once passed, Evers can make changes through his powerful veto.