(MADISON) – Rep Gary Hebl (Sun Prairie) released the following statement following the signing of the 2021-23 budget bill by Governor Evers:

I understand that Governor Evers felt he needed to sign the bill so Wisconsin would not miss out on federal COVID relief funds. However, we should not lose sight of the fact that this budget was a huge missed opportunity after Republicans gutted Governor Evers’ original proposals. That is why I voted against it on the Assembly floor.

Numerous commonsense proposals that are popular throughout the state were jettisoned in a partisan move by the Republican majority. Items that even red states have already implemented, such as Medicaid expansion and legalization of marijuana, were rejected simply because Republicans were unwilling to let Governor Evers take any credit for passing a popular policy.

In a transparently shameful process, Republicans passed a pared-down budget to try to weaken Governor Evers’ position going into the next election. Again, Republicans put politics above doing what is best for the citizens of Wisconsin.

To his credit, to ensure the receipt of federal COVID relief funds, Governor Evers put politics aside and did what was best for the people of Wisconsin. Despite being faced with the passage of a weakened budget, he was able to see the bigger picture and knew that Wisconsinites needed the relief. That is a sign of a true leader.

In addition, Governor Evers announced the allocation of $100 million in federal funds that will be pumped into our public school system. I applaud this move by the governor- especially after Republicans took his original $1.395 billion K-12 funding proposal and gutted it by 90%, to just $112 million. We can see that Governor Evers’ priority is ensuring quality education for Wisconsin children, and for that I thank him.

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