Gov. lays out budget framework during stop

ASHWAUBENON — Fresh of his state of the state address, Governor Walker is traveling the state.

During a stop in Ashwaubenon late Wednesday afternoon, he repeated some of his key points. That includes hoping to create jobs and income tax cuts.

The governor once again laid out his framework for the upcoming budget.

While job creation sits on the top of the list, lowering income taxes for middle class families is also high on his agenda.

Walker says currently that includes families making between $20,000 and $200,000 a year.

But that range could change come next month.

"There will be relief across various sections, but the target for the large portion of the relief is the middle class," Walker said. "We may be looking at tax rate ranges that are different that we have right now."

And those unknowns have Democrats like State Senator Dave Hansen worried.

"If the tax break is going to the upper end, then we're not doing a whole lot for the middle class," Hansen explained. "As I say, the middle class should be closer to well under $100,000 for sure."

When asked where the funding will come for all his proposals, the governor says the $342 million surplus in the current budget will help, but things will have to be juggled.

That's also a worry for Democrats.

"That (the surplus) allows us the opportunity to invest in our priorities like creating jobs, things like tax cuts, things like investing in our schools, things like infrastructure," Walker said. "We're only able to do that because we made tough but prudent decisions over the past two years and that put us in a better position."

"They can say there's money there, but there is a deficit and there is a structural deficit and we got to be careful, where you going to cut? Health care? Education? Is more going to be cut to give a break?" Hansen said.

We'll have to wait a few more weeks to get those questions answered.

The governor will introduce his budget next month.    

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According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Wisconsin’s population totaled 5,686,986, a 6.0% increase over the 2000 U.S. Census count of 5,363,715. (Source: Wisconsin Blue Book)
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