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The Latest: Republicans call Evers plan ‘liberal wish list’

March 1, 2019
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Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers unveiled his state budget at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis. Evers' first state budget spells out his spending priorities for the next two years. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Tony Evers preparing to release his first executive state budget (all times local):

8:25 p.m.

Republican legislative leaders say Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ budget is a “liberal wish list” with no chances of passing as proposed.

Evers proposed a host of ideas that Republicans have long opposed, including tax increases and a Medicaid expansion.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald calls it a “thousand page press release” that’s the “greatest hits” of the Democratic Party.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos calls the budget a “liberal tax and spend wish list.”

Evers calls it “the people’s budget” that reflects what he heard people wanted.

Republicans say they hope to find areas where they can compromise, but they intend to write their own alternative budget.

Lawmakers will spend the next several months rewriting the plan.

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7 p.m.

Gas taxes in Wisconsin would increase but the cost to fill up may actually drop under Gov. Tony Evers’ budget.

To mitigate a proposed 8-cents-per gallon gas tax increase, Evers is calling for repealing the state’s minimum markup law for fuel. That law prohibits the sale of gas below what it costs a retailer to purchase, resulting in a roughly 9 percent markup at the pump.

Evers estimate that doing away with that would shave 14 cents off the cost of gas, resulting in a net decrease in per-gallon cost.

His transportation plan released Thursday increases vehicle title fees and heavy truck registration fees, but does not increase the $75 registration fee paid by most vehicle owners.

Borrowing for roads would be the lowest level in 20 years, while $320 million in new money would go toward highway repair and expansion.

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12:10 p.m.

Gov. Tony Evers’ first budget will allow people in the country illegally to obtain driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Evers released excerpts of his budget speech ahead of its scheduled Thursday night delivery.

Evers says his budget will make people in the country illegally eligible for driver’s license and ID cards. He says the move will make Wisconsin roads and communities safer and strengthen the state’s economy and families.

Evers campaigned on making driver’s licenses and ID cards available to people living in the country illegally, but the move is certain to face opposition from Republicans who control the Legislature.

Evers is also proposing that people in the country illegally be able to pay in-state tuition at a University of Wisconsin school, another item Republicans oppose.

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11:15 p.m.

Gov. Tony Evers is releasing his first state budget to a skeptical Republican Legislature, with many of his proposals likely dead on arrival and others unlikely to pass without significant changes.

Evers, a Democrat, unveils his plan Thursday night during a joint meeting of the Legislature. That will kick off a monthslong process of lobbying, cajoling, bartering and begging over the roughly $76 billion spending plan that affects nearly every person in Wisconsin.

It will determine how much money goes to schools and prisons, the University of Wisconsin System and technical colleges, public assistance programs and corporate tax breaks.

The budget will also determine whether it will cost more to fill up at the gas station, go hunting or pitch a tent at a state park.