MacIver NewsMakers: Sen. Chris Kapenga On The Budget And Evers' Vow To Veto 'Born Alive' Bill
The MacIver Report: Wisconsin This Week
State Sen. Chris Kapenga is no fan of big government. In fact, the Delafield Republican is down-right cranky when it comes to the ever-expanding role of government — and the taxpayer cost of that expansion. Gov. Tony Evers’ $84.2 billion budget proposal — a massive increase from the current two-year state spending plan — isn’t improving the senator’s mood. Evers’ budget calls for hundreds more state employees, expanded programming and a host of new initiatives. Perhaps of deeper immediate concern, Kapenga says he’s disappointed that Evers “came out of the gate” so quickly this week in vowing to veto any “born alive” abortion bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The bill, introduced last week, demands physicians to provide the same care to an infant that survives an abortion as they would to any other newborn. The Democrat governor told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that such protections already exist under state law. But one of Evers' first acts as governor was signing an executive order prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity against state employees. He did so even though Wisconsin law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and federal law prohibits discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Kapenga says Evers’ veto threat is the latest example of the antagonistic stance the governor has taken with the Republican-led Legislature. Something more important is lost in the politics, he said.“These are infants. These are babies. We’re talking about a baby who comes out of the womb and can survive that. We’re talking about protecting life,” the senator said. Sen. Kapenga talks budget, budget battles, and sensible shoes in this edition of MacIver NewsMakers.