Vos hopes budget can bolster those who sacrificed to balance the books
After a contentious session and budget that saw a number of groups make sacrifices to help balance the state’s books, Robin Vos hopes to reward some of those same people.
That goes for state employees, too.
"If our revenues come back at the level where I hope they'll be, I want to make sure we put more money into schools where it's needed," Rep. Robin Vos tells WisPolitics.com. "I want to make sure that public employees who helped us by sacrificing over the past two years are given an opportunity for a raise."
The outgoing co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee said he wants to include taxpayers in that group, too, since Republicans "weren't able to repeal any of the tax increases that Governor Doyle and the Democrats imposed on the people of Wisconsin."
The Rochester Republican said he hopes to enact an "across-the-board income tax cut for everyone in Wisconsin" while targeting the middle class, which he says is particularly pinched by the state's current income tax structure.
Vos also said he wants to pass on second consideration a constitutional amendment banning transfers from the transportation fund, a practice that critics say hurts the state's ability to maintain and build new roads. He said the goal is to ease a deficit in the fund over the long term without jeopardizing projects he says are needed to bolster the economy.
Other priorities for the likely speaker include "a top-down review of the entire administration code in every section of state government" -- which would include empowering committee chairs to ask why particular agency rules are in place, whether they are needed and whether they can be altered to help foster job creation.
"But if the goal is nothing more than trying to create political cover, that's not going to work very well," Vos said. Vos also said he believes some of the changes negotiated with Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, this spring could be included in the latest version, and that if the bill can be done in a bipartisan manner, "I'll be the first one to reach out my hand." "I think Senator Cullen means well, but I think he is being led by people who don't necessarily have the same goal in mind of creating a bill that will bring the company here," Vos said of the Janesville Democrat's efforts this summer to formulate new mining legislation. And Vos said a mining bill left on the table last session will pass this year, overcoming what he described as political opposition to a jobs bill.