WAUSAU, WI (WSAU) - The Governor’s proposed state budget will mean lower taxes, more accountability, and perhaps selling off some state properties as well. That’s according to Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch.
During a stop in Wausau Monday, Huebsch commented on the first income tax cut the state has seen in a long time. “For the first time in, I think it’s fifteen years, you’re seeing an income tax rate cut. That’s what the Governor has introduced. We are actually going to cut the tax rate for mainly lower and middle income families throughout the state so they can invest in their families, their communities, and local businesses.”
The Governor’s planned expansion of school vouchers is getting some resistance. Huebsch says Scott Walker and State Superintendent Tony Evers developed the school report card to show which schools are doing a good job of teaching our kids. He says parents need the options available with an expanded voucher system. “As with us in class back when we were getting report cards, it’s not just enough to get those report cards, you now need to act upon those. You need to figure out what you’re going to do about that. What the Governor has done is, he has tied more money that’s going into the schools into performance base. Basically, it’s not just enough to continue a failing system in some areas. We need to measure and then reward or assist those areas that need it.” The Secretary added, “In those school districts where there are two or more failing schools, he’s going to say that those students and those families should have the option to figure out how they’re going to get their children educated.”
Huebsch says the Governor also wants to seriously explore selling certain state properties that he believes are not necessary to keep. There are lands owned by the Department of Corrections and the Department of Transportation that can go back to the public sector. Huebsch says the Governor would also like to see the state get out of the power plant business. “We have several power plants throughout the state that provide power into our facilities. Corrections, University of Wisconsin facilities, and even in Madison the state office buildings. The question has been for better than 20 years, why does the state have its own power plants when we have utilities and other companies that do this for a living.”
The Secretary was in Wausau for a speaking engagement at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County Monday evening.