MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Governor Tony Evers announced Tuesday that within weeks, with no input from Republican lawmakers, he would announce how he will spend all $ 3.2 billion on federal coronavirus bailout funds that come after Wisconsin come.
State law gives the governor, a Democrat, control over how the money is to be spent. The Republican-controlled legislation passed laws ordering the money to be spent on lowering property taxes, funding local road projects, and other areas, but Evers vetoed them all. He also vetoed a bill that would have required an issue of the money to go through the legislation.
When asked at a press conference whether he would discuss his plans for spending the money with Republican leaders, Evers said it was not a “top priority”.
“Getting the money out the door is the top priority,” he said.
Evers said he received a call to the federal government later Tuesday to discuss the schedule for the cash out, and details of his plans could be revealed soon.
“We expect to get the information we need in a few weeks,” said Evers.
Evers has already announced that up to $ 420 million of this money, which will flow into the state, will be used for a small business grant program. He has promised to spend $ 600 million of federal funds on small businesses. He has also promised to spend $ 50 million on tourism, $ 200 million on infrastructure including broadband access, and $ 500 million on pandemic action, but has not released details.
Republicans who oversee the Legislature’s Budgets Committee have said that the next biennial budget will be made more difficult by the fact that Evers does not yet say how all of the federal money will be spent. The Joint Finance Committee will hold a fully virtual final public hearing on the budget on Wednesday.
“The Joint Finance Committee will be able to work on the budget,” said Evers.
The legislature’s budget committee is expected to vote on Evers’ budget proposal as early as next week. The spending plan runs from July to June 2023. It also needs to pass legislation and be signed by Evers, who has extensive veto rights, before it becomes law.
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