MILWAUKEE — In an appearance on Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s The Steve Scaffidi Show on Friday morning, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers called for GOP support on various issues including the state’s budgetary surplus, legalization of medicinal marijuana, bail for violent offenders and more.
Two days removed from his second inaugural address, Gov. Evers began his conversation with Scaffidi by highlighting the improvements in his relationship with Republican colleagues at the dawn of another term.
“I don’t think it has ever been an issue of not liking each other. It’s just an issue of the way things play out,” Gov. Evers said. “We will have compromise.”
Soon after, the conversation turned to his firm stance against a flat tax increase sparked by the idea of using Wisconsin’s current surplus to offer tax breaks for seniors. The Governor held a firm stance against a flat tax, calling it a “non-starter” in his eyes because it “takes away our progressive nature on taxation.”
Gov. Evers is more focused on supporting the middle class of Wisconsin in the face of unprecedented inflation. Now with an estimated surplus in excess of $6.5 million, Wisconsin leaders like the Governor are expressing that both sides of the aisle are focused on working collaboratively.
“At the end of the day, the vast, vast majority should be going to the people who, frankly, are struggling most with inflationary impacts,” Gov. Evers said.
All the while, Gov. Evers believes that the state is on track with its plans to address the surplus and help the Wisconsin residents who need it most.
“We’re in a good position. We just have to make sure that every time we do a budget, that we take a look at whatever surplus exists and how we can make the best use of it,” Gov. Evers said.
From here, the conversation shifted to a hot-button topic in Wisconsin: The legalization of marijuana. The Governor said that he was glad to hear about Republican Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu’s recent comments opening up to legalizing medicinal marijuana. Gov. Evers is a strong advocate of the legalization of marijuana on a recreational level.
“I believe that recreational marijuana is where we will end up at some point in time, but if medicinal marijuana legislation comes through, I certainly will support it,” Gov. Evers said.
All the while, Governor Evers and Scaffidi agreed that Minimum Markup laws that raise the cost of gas in Wisconsin is outdated and needs to be addressed.
“I anticipate that we will easily be able to get rid of the minimum markup law and lower gas prices,” Gov. Evers said. “It could be as much as 30 cents per gallon, and that’s not a small amount.”
Concerned community members contacted Scaffidi ahead of the show, asking various questions related to the rising crime rates and controversial rules surrounding cash bail in Wisconsin. The Governor referred to several proposals under consideration that would modify rules around cash bail and others related to crime rates.
“We have to have public safety systems all across the state, not just Milwaukee, [but] elsewhere also, to make sure that fire, police EMTs — all of those things that are part of public safety — we need to have confidence that things are going well in that arena,” Gov. Evers said. “And they won’t be until we get shared revenue taken care of.”
Still, through all of the work that’s being done within the Wisconsin political realm, Gov. Evers believes it’s important to keep Wisconsin residents involved in the decision-making processes.
“I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t want the public to have a more active role in [decision-making],” Evers stated. “I see the polling on several issues, whether it’s recreational marijuana, whether it’s around abortion, you name it.”
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