State GOP dismisses Evers’ call for special legislative session
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday called a special legislative session for September in a longshot attempt to secure Republican approval of funding they rejected earlier this year — a move quickly dismissed by the GOP, according to the Associated Press. The funding would have supported childcare services, a family leave program, the University of Wisconsin System, and other efforts targeting the state’s worker shortage problems.
Republicans who control the Legislature said they opposed his plan because it would increase government spending rather than cut taxes.
Republicans are under no obligation to debate, let alone vote, on the more than $1 billion in funding proposals Evers put forward. Republicans have routinely ignored special session calls Evers has made in the past on a wide array of issues, including legalizing abortion, cutting taxes, gun safety, updating the state’s unemployment system, addressing problems in the dairy industry, and increasing funding for schools.
That said, calling a special session does bring attention to the issue. Evers has been highlighting childcare access and the worker shortage problem at stops across the state ever since Republicans did not include funding for it in the state budget passed in June. Evers signed the budget, which runs through the middle of 2025, in July.
Evers said he was giving Republicans another chance to fund critical areas it rejected and asserted that the $1 billion in proposals could be paid for by tapping the state’s projected $4 billion budget surplus.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called the proposal “nothing more than a rehash of Tony Evers’ tax and spend budget.” Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said Republicans’ priority is passing a middle-class tax cut like the one Evers vetoed in the budget.