Gov. Evers looks to use part of budget surplus for $150 taxpayer refunds to help with child care

LA CROSSE, Wis (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order calling legislators to meet in a special session on March 8. The special session would focus on using a surplus of state funds to help caregivers.

The state of Wisconsin has a $3.8 billion budget surplus. The governor’s plan would focus on child-care costs and education.

“Child care and caregiving continue to be a barrier to folks who want to join our workforce,” Evers said during a stop in La Crosse Wednesday. “And through our caregivers tax credit, most caregivers will receive up to $500.”

In addition to the caregiver fund, Evers wants to send every Wisconsin resident a $150 surplus refund.

“And hopefully a lot less stress about making ends meet,” Evers said.

The governor believes the lack of resources for child care prevents parents from joining the workforce.

“My plan also works to reduce these barriers to work so we can reduce job opening across the state,” Evers said.

Republican Sen. Patrick Testin says Evers should not be using the state surplus for his caregiver plan.

“He still has a mountain of money from the government that he can use virtually at his own disposal,” Testin said.

Instead, Testin says Evers should consider using American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“Allocate some of these resources in the key areas and he can certainly use ARPA dollars for his caregiver plan,” Testin said.

Evers says the money belongs to the people of Wisconsin and he is refunding tax dollars. He says he’s open to negotiation with Republican lawmakers. Testin disagrees.

“It’s clear that the governor doesn’t want any legislative input on how this federal money can be used,” Testin said.

Republican lawmakers say the legislation can wait until the next budget, but Evers says action needs to be taken now.

“Well, that’s not going to help Wisconsinites buy groceries, buy gas, pay for childcare, heat their home, or put food on the table, today,” Evers said.

Recent News Headlines from News 8 Now  

Pain getting worse at the pump in the La Crosse region

La Crosse County drops to ‘Very High’ COVID transmission rate

Gov. Evers calls on lawmakers to pass $150 taxpayer refund during State of the State address 

Wisconsin Farmers Union film decries monopoly control of food chain, erosion of family farms

Dog, pig and 20 chickens die in rural Monroe County fire