Gov. Evers hits the road to promote budget proposal: 'We have things that need to be addressed'

RACINE COUNTY -- The road to passing Gov. Tony Evers' budget is winding through Wisconsin classrooms. Evers made his pitch during a stop at Sturtevant's Schulte Elementary on Friday, March 1.

"It's not rocket science," said Evers.

Roads are among the governor's top priorities. His spending plan includes money to finish the Zoo Interchange project and expand I-43 from two to three lanes in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties. Evers wants to pay for those projects -- and others -- by raising fees and taxes.

"We have things that need to be addressed, and frankly, that costs money," said Evers.

Under the governor's plan, the state's 32.9 cents gas tax will rise eight cents. The governor hopes to offset that cost by repealing the state's minimum markup law, which he says could lower overall gas prices by up to 14 cents per gallon.

State Republicans say the math doesn't add up.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

"This budget is a liberal tax and spending wish list," said Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. "The governor wants to raise the tax by eight cents and then suddenly convince everyone that by repealing minimum markup, it will put money in their pocket. I just don't see it right now."

Both parties have said they are open to new forms of revenue to pay for roads, but lawmakers haven't voted to raise Wisconsin's gas tax in more than 20 years.

Evers believes the people of Wisconsin want unity and compromise, and he says they can do that with the budget he proposed. He also believes they can work things out by the deadline of July 1.

Tony Evers