Wisconsin Senate, Assembly gavel out of special session on state surplus

MADISON, Wis. — The Republican-led Wisconsin State Senate once again ended a special session called by Gov. Tony Evers after a handful of seconds Tuesday morning, with the Assembly doing the same Tuesday afternoon.

The governor announced his plans for a special session to address how the state should handle its projected budget surplus — including his plan to send $150 “refund” checks to every Wisconsin resident — during his State of the State address last month. He issued an executive order the next day, officially creating the special session.

RELATED: In State of the State, Evers touts tax cuts, pandemic aid and renews call for surplus checks

Evers’ order also called on the Legislature to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into K-12 education, provide more funding for the UW System, and create a family caregiver tax credit. Republicans responded by saying they’d rather use the money to give residents a tax cut next year.

WATCH: Republicans immediately gavel out of special session in Senate

Evers blasted Republicans “for refusing to even consider” his plan.

“Wisconsinites are feeling the pressure of rising costs, and they need action now—today—not months from now or a year from now,” he said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Republicans are selfishly playing politics by sitting on a projected $3.8 billion surplus until next year while the people of this state watch prices on everyday items go up and gas is almost $4 a gallon. This is the people’s money. We should be doing the right thing and getting it back to them.”

Wisconsin State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly released a statement on the State Senate’s decision not to take up any of the legislation, calling it a “disingenuous waste of time.”

“Our legislature has done nothing for the past year, yet picked this moment to disrespect our schools, our teachers, families, and our taxpayers,” Dr. Underly said in her statement. “That is a nakedly political move that even those in support of these proposals understand. The legislature could have taken action to help schools by spending even a fraction of the historic, taxpayer-funded state surplus. But they did not; worse, they manufactured crises and wasted our time passing dead-end legislation instead of meeting the real needs of our learners.”

This is the latest special session called by the governor that the Legislature has taken no action on, previously immediately gaveling in and gaveling out without any debate for special sessions on unemployment, BadgerCare, public school funding, gun control, and police reform.