State Assembly Republicans have unveiled a sprawling plan to revamp how fuel sales are taxed, provide a long-term funding infusion for roads and bridges and steer the state toward a flat income tax.
Broad outlines of the plan emerged earlier this week, but new details emerged Thursday. The plan includes major tax cuts for top earners, a new fee on hybrid and electric vehicles and elimination of tax credits aimed at homeowners.
It also would cut the existing per-gallon fuel tax while applying the 5 percent state sales tax to fuel purchases.
Getting his own party to agree on a conservative health care overhaul turned out to be a massive lift for House Speaker Paul Ryan, but he finally got it done Thursday, with hardly any votes to spare.
“A lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. Many of us are here because we pledged to cast this very vote,” Ryan said from the House floor, referring to the GOP’s repeated vows to repeal Obamacare.
Republican colleagues cheered the speaker, but Democrats jeered when he called the bill’s passage a “deliberative, bottom-up, organic process.”
“They didn’t have one hearing on it, didn’t make text available until late last night,” said Wisconsin Democrat Ron Kind. “They don’t want the American people to know what’s in it. It’s a huge tax cut bill for the most wealthy, paid for by kicking 24 million people off of their health insurance.”
The battle over your right to buy butter is heading to federal court after Wisconsin forced a second dairy company off store shelves.
Minerva Dairy of Ohio filed suit in April after the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection began enforcing an obscure law from 1953.
That law says all butter sold in Wisconsin must be approved through a state-mandated taste test and issued a grade.
Executives at Minerva Dairy argue that process is unconstitutional.
The Wisconsin GOP has introduced a bill aimed at punishing those disrupting speeches on UW and tech college campuses. This followed several instances of conservative speakers being interrupted or having their speeches canceled by the universities citing safety concerns for those speakers.
Dissent and protest have been a part of American culture since the beginning. It’s expression protected under the first amendment. But if that expression incites violence or prevents another’s freedom of expression you end up with a legal conundrum.
“No one has the right to prevent another person from speaking,” said Cheryl Gill, a partner at Johns, Flaherty & Collins Law Firm. “I mean, that’s the essence of free speech.”