Jorgensen, Dems call for new spending plan

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Gazette staff
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

MADISON—State Rep. Andy Jorgensen and Assembly Democrats are calling for an alternative to Gov. Scott Walker's plan to spend a projected $1 billion state revenue surplus, calling the governor's plan “irresponsible and self-serving.”

In a news release, Jorgenson, D-Milton, said he's calling for an alternate plan he says would offer middle class residents another $100 a year in tax breaks than Walker's current plan.

And he said the plan would cut in half an additional $807 million he said Walker's spending plan would add to the state's structural deficit—while helping to sock away more money in the state's rainy day fund.

That, Jorgensen said, would ensure the state wouldn't have to make deep future spending cuts, or raise taxes later.

Jorgensen attacked Walker's plan, saying it would chop taxes for the wealthy but sidestep the need Jorgensen sees for more tax relief for middle class families.

“While Governor Walker throws peanuts–-just $10 a month–-at middle class families, he's quietly doing away with a minimum tax rate for millionaires. Make no mistake, Republicans care more about their donors with deep pockets.

“Democrats believe everyone should pay something, and that tax relief should be targeted to the folks who need relief most. Our plan offers the average family another $100 per year.”

The Democrats' plan failed this week on a party-line vote, but Walker's Republican-backed surplus spending plan must still pass a vote in the Senate.

Jorgensen has decried Walker's plan, saying that it's based on projected revenues. He said a more responsible spending of at least part of a surplus would be to give financial support to state worker-training programs.

Part of the Democrats' plan is to work to eliminate waiting lists for high-demand programs at state technical colleges, which he said could ease a skills gap he said is bogging down economic and job growth in the state.

“Wisconsin has fallen to 37th in job growth, under Republicans' watch. Investing in critical training programs is good for workers and for businesses, and will pay back in dividends,” he said.

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