(The Center Square) – The top Republican in the Wisconsin Assembly says the reason his party is pushing a "doomed plan" to spend the state’s $3.2 billion in stimulus money is because it’s the only plan out there.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told News Talk 1130 WISN’s Jay Weber on Friday that Gov. Evers has an agenda, but isn’t offering any specifics as to how Wisconsin’s billions would be spent.
“He put out, literally, a press release, kind of a one-pager saying how he would spend $3.2 billion and everyone is saying he has a ‘plan,’” Vos said. “Saying '$600 million to this program and $1 billion to that' is no plan.”
Republicans at the Capitol spent the past two weeks approving their plan to spend the stimulus money even though Gov. Evers has promised to veto it.
Vos said the centerpiece of the Republican plan is a rebate to property tax payers in the state. There are also investments in broadband, tourism, and grants to small businesses. Republicans also would like to earmark some of the money to pay down the state’s debt.
Democrats have said that part of the Republican proposal violates Congress’ rules for stimulus spending.
Vos said that assertion may not be true.
“There’s a lawsuit working its way through the federal courts ... that says the legislature is the place where we get to decide on whether or not the state dollars that come in can be spent on schools or tax cuts. The federal government can’t dictate that.”
Republicans in Madison this week approved a resolution ordering Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul to join that lawsuit. Vos said it remains to be seen if Kaul will abide by the resolution.
Vos said it is not just that the governor doesn’t have a specific plan for the money. Vos said lawmakers are alarmed and insulted that the governor doesn’t even want to talk about just where the $3.2 billion would go.
“He tries to sit above the fray, really in his basement. He doesn’t really talk to many people, he has very little outreach,” Vos explained. “He just kind of acts like he’s the king-on-high, deciding how to spend this money with very little input from peons like the legislature.”