Gov. Evers budget to include proposals to curb reckless driving

Gov. Tony Evers speaks at Madison event hosting President Biden

Gov. Tony Evers' executive budget will include a host of proposals designed to reduce reckless driving in Wisconsin, including mandating ignition interlock devices for all drunken driving offenses, the governor's office announced Friday.

The governor's 2023-25 spending plan will mandate that judges order the use of an ignition interlock device for all drunken or intoxicated driving offenses. Thirty other states, as well as the District of Columbia, already require all operating while intoxicated offenders to use the devices.

Other provisions would increase the penalty for not wearing a seatbelt from $10 to $25; create 35 more state trooper positions and 10 more motor carrier inspector positions; and provide $60 million for roundabouts, pedestrian islands and other road features designed to slow traffic.

Evers' budget also would provide $6.5 million to cover driver education costs for low-income students and provide driver's licenses for people who entered the country illegally.

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Evers is set to release the full executive budget to the Republican-controlled Legislature on Wednesday. The Legislature’s finance committee will spend the next four months revising the document before shipping it to the full Senate and Assembly for approval. From there, the budget will go back to Evers, who can rewrite it to his liking using his partial veto powers.

Evers' first two budgets would have given driver’s licenses those in the country illegally, but Republicans removed the provisions from both plans, and Evers could not restore them through his partial veto.

Messages left for spokespeople for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu weren't returned.