Politicians respond from both sides to Gov. Walker's state budget proposals

CREATED Feb 20, 2013

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MADISON - Governor Scott Walker did some budget bragging Wednesday night saying the state’s bottom line is better off now than when he took office two years ago.

Two years ago the state was facing a $3.6 billion deficit. Now it has a surplus, and Governor Walker and Republicans want to give some of that money back to taxpayers.

"This will ensure a tax cut for everyone with the focus on making Wisconsin more competitive for middle class taxpayers and small businesses," said Walker, during his state budget address to lawmakers.

It amounts to an extra $100 for a family of four making $80,000 a year but Democrats are leery over who will really benefit.

"I noticed that in his total tax cut numbers less than half of that goes to the middle class," said Milwaukee Democrat Jon Richards.

Walker wants more for public schools but they’ll have to earn it with incentives to make improvements.

"We want to recognize and reward excellence-and replicate it in other places around the state," said Walker.

There’s also more money to expand the school choice vouchers program which allows low and middle income families to send their kids to private schools at taxpayer’s expense.

Republicans certainly have the votes in both house to pass an income tax cut but Democrats predict a battle over how your tax dollars are spent on expanding school choice.

"We had the largest education cuts ever in the last budget. Now we have a zero increase for public schools and massive expansion of the voucher school program," said Richards.

But Republicans welcome the debate.

"The question is: Should parents who are low income have the option to send their kids to school that is much better for them?" asked River Hills Republican Alberta Darling.