Wisconsin Assembly to OK tax cuts, farm aid
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A $250 million income tax cut, tax breaks for farmers and a 4 a.m. bar time during the Democratic National Convention are among the final bills the Wisconsin Assembly plans to pass Thursday during its last scheduled session day of the year.
Lawmakers are making a mad dash to finish the session, giving final approval to bills that already passed the Senate or making proposals available for the other chamber to vote on next month. Anything the GOP-controlled Legislature passes must be signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers before becoming law.
The tax cut bill may be headed toward an Evers veto. He hasn't said whether he supports it and has been critical of Republicans for not backing his plan to lower property taxes by investing more state money into schools.
The Assembly was also set to pass a farm aid package that includes elements of what Evers wanted, but goes farther by cutting taxes for farmers by $30 million a year and another $6 million for self-employed people.
Evers hasn't said whether he will go along with those tax cuts, which also must win approval from the Senate. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said senators were "picking and choosing" what they like from the farm aid package to vote on in March. He didn't elaborate.
The Assembly also planned to vote on a trio of bills that wold prohibit labeling food as meat, milk or dairy if it doesn't contain those products.
One proposal would ban labeling or selling a product as meat unless it includes animal flesh. Eleven other states already have such a ban. The other two bills would ban labeling a beverage as milk unless it comes from cows, goats or certain other animals and labeling a product as cream, yogurt or cheese unless it includes dairy.
Those two proposals would take effect only if 10 other Midwest states approve similar prohibitions by 2031. None of the bills have passed the Senate yet.