La Crosse County discusses November’s advisory referendums with state legislators

Referendums voted on by La Crosse County residents are being considered at the state level.

County leaders hosted state representatives from our area Monday night to talk about the next steps for the County’s marijuana and PRAT referendums.

PRAT, or the Premier Resort Area Tax, would increase sales taxes on goods and services linked to tourism. People were also asked if they would support various levels of marijuana legalization. Both ideas were pitched to voters as potential solutions to pay for road repairs.

Residents voted in favor of both ideas last November.

State legislators say the future of marijuana looks promising, but PRAT may not even pass a committee vote.

“The Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, that I am a member of, that the bill went to last year, is the same person this year, John Macco in Green Bay. He does not like the proposal. It doesn’t affect him or his district, or even his half of the state at all, but he simply says, ‘Philosophically, I’m opposed to it and I don’t want it to go on,'” said La Crosse County Democratic State Representative Steve Doyle.

County Board members were disheartened when told the future of PRAT looked grim. But they’re also excited to see what happens concerning marijuana legalization, especially with such wide-spread support.

“Keep beating the drum if you believe that legalization of marijuana should happen. It’s now up to elected officials at the state level. Keep telling them what your opinion is,” said La Crosse County Board Chair Tara Johnson.

Governor Tony Evers has shown support for some legalization in the past, even hinting he may include a call for medical marijuana in his state budget proposal.

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