The Republican-controlled legislature is moving ahead with its plan for a middle class income tax cut. A bill passed out of committee last week and is scheduled for floor debate Tuesday and Wednesday. Lawmakers want to use a surplus to pay for the tax cut, while Gov. Tony Evers is pushing a plan to eliminate a tax credit for manufacturers.
How might this play out? JR Ross of wispolitics.com, says Evers will likely veto the GOP plan, but then the legislature could override the veto. In response, Evers may put his plan into the budget and then it remains to be seen if Evers and lawmakers can reach a compromise on how to pay for the income tax cut.
In another development, Gov. Evers said last week that he's directing the DNR to review air quality and water permits the state granted to Foxconn, in its effort to build a huge factory in Racine County. Foxconn recently reaffirmed its plans for the facility, which it says could employ up to 13,000 people. But, it's not known how many of those jobs will actually be in manufacturing of LCD screens. Ross says environmental demands may change, and Evers has indicated the company is comfortable reviewing the permits.
Gov. Evers also spoke last week about possibly delaying the closing of the embattled Lincoln Hills juvenile prison in northern Wisconsin. The law requires the facility to close by 2021 but after touring the place, Evers says the process can't be rushed and closing may be delayed by 1-2 years. Ross says lawmakers are working on a bill that would grant an extension for the closing, and some are hoping for a shorter time period of six months rather than the full two years.
Financial filings show state Supreme Court candidates Brian Hagedorn and Lisa Neubauer each have raised more thn $500,000 since the campaign began. Hagedorn is conservative, while Neubauer is backed by Democrats in the April 2 election. Ross says the fundraising numbers are a sign that the race is competitive, and predicts outside groups will also pour money into the contest.