Gov. Evers signs executive order calling Legislature into special session over surplus spending

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WEST BEND, Wis. (CBS 58)-- Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order calling the Legislature into a special session on Wednesday morning, Feb. 16 at a YMCA in West Bend.


The governor said he doesn't want to wait until the next budget cycle to figure out how to spend the unprecedented $3.8 billion in surplus funding. Instead, he wants a decision next month.

"We have to make sure that Wisconsinites have the ability to pay for their gas, pay for their food, and doing nothing is not going to make that happen," Evers said.

Evers announced he wants to use a portion of the surplus to give every Wisconsin resident a $150 refund. He said it will help offset the rise in inflation. 

"A little more wiggle room, and hopefully, a little less stress," Evers said.

State Republican leaders called the plan an election year gimmick after the State of the State Address on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

"Now, Tony Evers’ COVID response centers on handing out giant, cardboard checks using the federal tax dollars borrowed against our kids and grandkids’ futures. He promised to 'get the money out the door' as quickly as possible, but now, nine months later, he still has nearly a billion dollars left in his Madison bank account," Sen. Devin LeMahieu said.

Evers is hoping lawmakers come to the session with an open mind.

"We need the Legislature to not gavel in and gavel out. Frankly, that's just avoiding, you know, it's telling the people of Wisconsin to essentially go to hell," Evers said. 

The special session is scheduled to meet on March 8.

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