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Western Wisconsin residents weigh in on budget proposal, Evers offers warning to Republicans

Eau Claire (WQOW) – Chippewa Valley residents got to tell the governor directly what they think of his proposed budget Tuesday.

Governor Tony Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes held a budget listening session at Chippewa Valley Technical College to get input on his proposals.

As we’ve reported, GOP leaders have threatened to start from scratch and write their own budget. However Evers used some of his firmest language yet warning Republicans such a move would be a mistake. “I have the strongest veto pen in the country. So they might not get some things that they feel very strongly about. And I’ll use whatever I can, that is at my disposal, to make sure that we at least get to a point where we reach common ground,” said Evers. “If they want to start with their own budget, they do it at their own peril.”

Evers said he’s already had dialogue with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle on the budget and hopes that continues.

Some of the topics discussed were educational funding, criminal justice reform, transportation, and Medicaid expansion. One participant said she’s worried about options outside of employer sponsored healthcare. “Both my wife and I are independent contractors. She’s a consultant and each of us has our own business,” said Eau Claire resident Laura Goetz. “Neither of us has the option of getting employer sponsored health care. I’m really concerned what the options will be in Wisconsin for 12 months from now.”

The governor will have two more listening session next week in Oshkosh and Milwaukee.

The state budget is due July 1.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly is our Daybreak meteorologist. Justin joined WQOW News 18 in May 2018.

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