Madison, Wis. – Today the Wisconsin State Senate voted to pass SB 70, the 2023-2025 state budget bill. Senator Romaine Robert Quinn (R-Cameron) issued the following statement after his vote in favor:
“I’m proud to deliver a budget like this in my first term as your Senator in Northern Wisconsin. This is a great budget that funds our community needs while providing a massive $4.4 billion middle class tax cut, the largest in state history. We invested our state’s record surplus into a historic $1 billion increase to K-12 education, and I worked with my colleagues to ensure that priorities for our local school districts, like high-cost transportation aid and an adjustment in the low revenue ceiling, were included in that package. By using one-time cash to pay for buildings rather than borrowing this budget saves a half a billion dollars in interest payments. This budget also brings more than $15 million in new shared revenue dollars to the counties and municipalities I represent in the 25th Senate District.
“For the first time in many years, other Northern Legislators and I were able to bring your tax dollars home for use in critical area projects. Budget motions I authored that were included in the financing plan include:
- Funding to ensure smooth operation of the ferry line between Madeline Island and Bayfield
- $2.5 million for upgrades to fish hatcheries in Bayfield and Douglas Counties
- Upgrades to the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Barron that supports our dairy and poultry industries
- Additional funding for Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Parks
- $400 million in bonds and new funds to replace the Blatnik Bridge between Superior and Duluth
- $5 million to bring more nurses to rural healthcare providers
“This budget bill also funds legislative priorities I worked with my colleagues to pass earlier this year. It reserves $2 million for pre-disaster flood mitigation grants, which will immensely help places like Ashland County that deal with repeat flooding year after year. Another centerpiece of this budget is the $525 million used to fund revolving loan programs that will encourage more affordable and workforce housing, sorely needed in communities throughout the 25th Senate District and the state as a whole.
“This budget also helps our most vulnerable. It provides $195 million to address staffing challenges at nursing homes. It provides $41 million in new mental health resources. And it reserves $15 million to assist child care centers in building out capacity alongside legislation that will be considered soon.
“I am proud of all the work that went into this budget. There are so many great things that I’ll keep talking about when I’m out and about in the district. I am asking Governor Evers to sign this budget without changes and without delay, so these funding increases can begin having an immediate impact in Northern Wisconsin.”