Also in today’s Jolt:
Joy in Cheddar-Land: New Surpluses and New Tax Cuts in Wisconsin!
Our first bit of good news for the states: This week, the Wisconsin State Assembly will approve another big tax cut, amounting to $541 million and give Scott Walker another feather in his cap as he heads into his reelection campaign:
The tax decreases — the third round of cuts by Republicans in less than a year — passed 17-15 with GOP Sen. Dale Schultz of Richland Center joining all Democrats in voting against the proposal. The proposal now goes to the Assembly, which passed a different version of the tax cuts last month with two Democrats joining all Republicans in supporting it.
With growing tax collections now expected to give the state a $1 billion budget surplus in June 2015, Walker’s bill will cut property and income taxes for families and businesses, and zero out all income taxes for manufacturers in the state.
This isn’t exactly stunning news, but reassuring: Walker enters the 2014 campaign season with a sizable financial advantage:
Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch together raised more than $9 million in 2013. As of December 31, Walker and Kleefisch had a combined $4.97 million in their campaign accounts.
Democrat Mary Burke, who is challenging Walker, raised $1.8 million in 2013 and has $1.32 million in her campaign account.
Sen. John Lehman, D-Racine, who has challenged Kleefisch, raised $9,340 in 2013 and has $10,647.
Republicans, who hold a majority in both the Senate and Assembly, started the 2014 election year with three times more cash in their campaign accounts than Democrats, the report shows.