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Thursday, January 20, 2011

 8:05 PM 

HSA tax break clears Assembly, headed to Walker

The Assembly tonight signed off on a state tax break for health savings accounts 66-28, clearing the way for the bill to head to the guv.

It's the second of Gov. Scott Walker's special session bills to clear both houses, following the tort reform the Assembly approved earlier in the evening.

Dems complained the $49 million price tag on the legislation was too high considering the looming deficit and questioned how the change would create jobs considering the guv called the special session to deal with what he called a jobs emergency.

State Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, questioned GOP priorities when the money could be used to fund local services and prevent property taxes from going up, to attract $75 million in matching federal funds to help fund BadgerCare for needy children or provide job training for tech school grads.

"The fact that we're taking this bill up before the budget is even introduced is crazy," Hintz said. "We're in a special session to address an economic emergency. We've had not a single comment about how this creates jobs."

Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, countered the money belonged to the taxpayers.

"It's their money," he said. "It's a tax deduction they can use to lower their health care costs."


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