From baseball to state employees and tax cuts to appointees

Two busy days for Wisconsin lawmakers saw action on Brewers subsidies, a pay raise for some public workers, child care workforce budget measures, and the firing of eight gubernatorial appointments.

By Frederica Freyberg | Here & Now

October 20, 2023

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It was a busy week in legislative business at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

The state Assembly passed a $545 million dollar plan for renovation of the Milwaukee Brewers stadium to keep the team in the city through 2050.

“This is a bipartisan deal that focuses on making sure that we are going to get more revenue coming into the state to spend on programs that people consider to be important, that if the team left,” said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Oct. 17, 2023.

Vos – as co-chair of the Legislature’s employment committee — also approved a pay raise for state employees – but not for Universities of Wisconsin staff because of its diversity, equity and inclusion positions.

“I would love to outlaw DEI and be as aggressive as we possibly can be,” Vos said. “But again — trying to find a middle ground. I am trying to make sure that the situation does not get worse than where it is now.”

On the senate side – the Republican majority passed a $2 billion dollar income tax cut and expanded child care credits in answer to Gov. Tony Evers’ call for a $1 billion dollar workforce package.

Evers is expected to veto the Republican proposal.

Meanwhile, the governor announced he would use $170 million dollars in federal pandemic relief money to fund the Child Care Counts program until 2025. 

The state Senate also voted to fire eight appointees Evers nominated to boards, including the majority of members on the Natural Resources Board, an elections commissioner and the chair of the medical examining board.

Evers called it “insanity” and immediately replaced those rejected with new appointees.

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