Wisconsin’s estimated budget surplus tops $7 billion

Wisconsin’s projected state budget surplus is forecast to reach $7.1 billion by July, up more than half a billion dollars from the previous estimate just two months ago, according to a report from the Associated Press. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported it is the largest budget surplus in Wisconsin history.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature are fighting over what to do with the money.

Republicans support moving to a flat income tax, a proposal that would result in the state collecting about $5 billion less a year in taxes. Evers wants a more modest $600 million tax cut targeting the middle class. He’s also called for spending more than $2 billion on K–12 schools.

Evers on Tuesday, in his State of the State speech, unveiled nearly $1.5 billion in new spending proposals targeting mental health services, water pollution, affordable child care, and workforce development. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos declared most of them to be dead on arrival.