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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

 12:00 PM 

Senate Dems start debate by offering alternative tax cut plan

The Democrats have kicked off debate by offering an alternative plan for spending the state's surplus.

Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson said the plan would offer a $500 million "first dollar" tax credit, eliminate the structural deficit, double the rainy day fund and offer funding for tech colleges and rural schools. Their plan would also get rid of the withholding tax table change put forward by the governor.

Larson said the state needs to offer solutions that avoid "gimmicks."

"It's tempting to jump to something that would be gimmicky," Larson said. "It's tempting to throw something in front of citizens as an election year is pending. What were proposing as Democrats is to put something forward that has a long-term vision for the state of Wisconsin."

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said that regardless of the outcome, the fact that they're debating how to spend a state surplus shows it's a"great day for Wisconsin."

"To finally be out from what was a really dark time for this state in which there were many different gimmicks, many different tricks, a lot of things were were being accused of as a legislature," Fitzgerald said.

"When I think about this day and being able to address the state being able to move on from that period, it's really exciting to move on from that period."

However, GOP Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, said constituents want their taxpayer funds sent back to them rather than end up in the rainy day fund and chastised Democrats for thinking the worst of Wisconsin's economic future.

"There isn't a time that we get together where you don't predict doom and gloom for the state of Wisconsin,"Darling said.


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