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Evers Administration makes fiscally responsible decision to pay down state debt Republicans accumulated

MADISON – On Wednesday, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released updated revenue projections, showing general fund tax collections will be higher than projected by $753 million over the next three years. The Department of Revenue (DOR) noted yesterday that the increased projections can be principally attributed to one-time federal corporate tax policy changes. Due to these projections, Governor Evers announced his administration will be making an additional payment on state debt that would pay off $56 million with an estimated savings on future debt service payment of close to $70 million.

In addition to this, the Governor announced he will be calling on the Joint Committee on Finance to use additional funds for worker training and investment in the Wisconsin Technical Colleges System. The remainder will go towards the budget stabilization fund. Assembly Democratic Leader Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following comments on these actions by the Governor:

“After eight years of fiscal recklessness by Wisconsin Republicans, it’s refreshing to see a Governor act in the long-term best interest of our state,” Rep. Hintz stated. “During the 2nd longest period of economic growth in our nation’s history, Republicans chose to rack up debt on the state’s credit card and favor corporate tax breaks over investing in the people of Wisconsin. Governor Evers is continuing his commitment to put Wisconsinites first by making this significant debt payment.”

Republicans propensity for accumulating state debt and deferring payments is well-documented. According to a January 11, 2019 Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) memo, between 2011 and 2016, former Governor Scott Walker and Legislative Republicans deferred payment of principal due by $767.3 million to avoid making debt payments. This delay will have cost taxpayers an estimated $88.7 million when it is paid off in the future.

“Since 2011, Republicans have been willing to undermine our future prosperity in order to give away billions of dollars in no-strings-attached cash payments to wealthy corporations at the expense of our public schools, tech schools, and UW System. Governor Evers’ plan is to put money toward our current and future workforce in addition to paying down Republican debts. Democrats are committed to fixing the fiscal mistakes of the past eight years and returning our state to sound financial footing.”

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