Walker’s Budget To Head To Assembly
On Wednesday, the Joint Finance Committee gave their stamp of approval to Wisconsin Governor Walker’s two year budget.
The two-year budget plan includes a $650 million income tax cut. That’s almost double what the governor called for in February.
The budget also expands private school vouchers statewide. The governor had wanted to expand it to nine new cities. Enrollment in voucher schools would be capped at 500 students next year and 1,000 every year after that.
But as the 592 page plan now moves to the State Assembly, and then the State Senate in two weeks, there are several proposals causing debates.
One such proposal by the governor to reject federal dollars that would allow the state to expand Badgercare and cover more people. Walker tells the Associated Press that he is concerned that the federal government will not be able to pay its bills.
Under the budget, anyone making at or below the poverty level would be eligible for Badgercare. That would now include adults without kids, something Walker says will insure 82,000 more people.
Meanwhile a group in Eau Claire rallied against Walker’s proposal on Wednesday. Democrats say it doesn’t make sense to reject the federal money, saying it will cost the state an extra $150 million dollars while 85,000 people above the poverty line will lose coverage.
Opponents view the federal dollars as free money and are quick to point out that if things don’t work, the state could opt out at any time. Debates on the topic are expected to continue.