Contact: State Senator Kathy Bernier (608) 266-7511

(Madison)…State Senator Kathy Bernier (R-Lake Hallie) issued the following statement following Governor Tony Evers’ speech introducing his 2021-2023 state budget:

“Two years ago, Governor Evers introduced an irresponsible budget bill full of increases in taxes, spending and non-fiscal policy. The Republican Legislature worked diligently to reverse those negatives and the end result was a responsible budget which led to a surplus and historic rainy day fund and which allowed our state to weather this past year better than most.

“This evening Governor Tony Evers put forward a budget that, much like his previous proposal, seems to be more of a laundry list of liberal policy items than a budget focused on keeping our state moving in the right direction. While I am deeply concerned about the huge increases in spending and the taxes that go with it, I am also concerned with many of the Governor’s policy proposals.

“Fortunately, not everything was negative. Increased investment in rural broadband access along with assistance for Wisconsin’s agriculture economy are a couple of the positive items that stood out to me from tonight’s speech.

“One area that is both encouraging and a missed opportunity in this budget is Governor Evers’ support for mental health services. This is an issue that is rightfully receiving more attention and I am intrigued by several of the Governor’s proposals. Unfortunately, due to his misguided veto in the last budget of one-time funding for mental health beds in our region, this important piece of the solution has been needlessly delayed.

“As a new member of the Joint Finance Committee, I look forward to digging into the Governor’s budget like never before. Over the next several months we will review his proposal and begin making improvements wherever possible. I expect that through this process, we will be able to craft a state budget that supports core priorities while respecting taxpayers and that keeps Wisconsin moving forward.”

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