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Republicans sour on renovation of cream puff building, other Evers' capital budget proposals

The State Building Commission meets Thursday at the State Capitol in Madison.
The State Building Commission meets Thursday at the State Capitol in Madison.

Building projects in Milwaukee and elsewhere  that are hoping to get state taxpayer funding will have to wait.

Republicans on the State Building Commission have blocked more than one-hundred proposals in what is known as the Governor's capital budget. Nothing passed during Thursday's Commission meeting, not even Gov. Tony Evers (D) plan to spend millions of dollars to renovate the cream puff pavilion at State Fair Park.

Commission member and State Sen. Robert Wirch (D-Kenosha County) urged support.

"Let's vote for cream puffs," he said to laughter.

But Republicans held firm and nixed the spending on a vote of 4-4. Later, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg) released a statement applauding the Building Commission for saying no so many times. He says GOP lawmakers will continue to work to provide cost savings for taxpayers and "hold the Evers Administration to account on excess spending."

Evers sees it differently. In a statement he says, "Republicans would rather play politics than have a meaningful discussion about projects that would serve people's needs and create tens of thousands of jobs."

It's expected that GOP lawmakers will propose their own capital budget as part of their promise to craft a new two-year overall state budget. The debate with Evers is expected to last for months.