GOP Lawmakers Take an Axe to Evers’ Proposals on BadgerCare, Tenant Protections, Legal Pot, Minimum Wage

GOP Lawmakers Take an Axe to Evers’ Proposals on BadgerCare, Tenant Protections, Legal Pot, Minimum Wage


By christinalieffring

May 3, 2021

Republicans begin detailed work on a new state budget by announcing they’ll also kill the governor’s standards for clean water.

The committee that oversees the state’s budget process has scheduled a hearing for this Thursday where it will take up changes to Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget, essentially doing a complete revision that drops many of the governor’s initiatives, including an expansion of BadgerCare health coverage that would save taxpayers more than $1 billion. 

The agenda for the hearing includes a motion to remove large sections of what Evers revealed in February. Republicans control the Joint Finance Committee by a 12-4 margin, all but ensuring the motion will pass.

Legislative Republicans have been saying for weeks they planned to re-write the budget or at least remove some key provisions. “Unfortunately, I assume we will probably have to start from scratch,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said.

RELATED: ‘No More Corners to Cut’: Northern Wisconsin Asks Legislature for More Money In Budget

Some of the measures Republican leadership has signaled will be on the chopping block include: expanding BadgerCare, which would bring in an additional $1.6 billion in federal Medicaid funds to the state, legalizing marijuana, raising the state’s minimum wage, and repealing some of the anti-union provisions of Act 10, which was signed into law a decade ago when Republicans took control of the state Assembly, Senate, and governorship.

Some of the other sections slated for removal by Joint Finance include: 

  • Implementation of Juneteenth as a state holiday
  • Establishing offices of sustainability and clean energy and an office for environmental justice
  • Landlord-tenant protections
  • Broadband expansion initiatives
  • A provision to bar housing discrimination on the basis of gender expression, gender identity and sexual orientation
  • PFAS standards, testing and clean-up
  • Juvenile justice reforms


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