Tracking Gov. Tony Evers' Campaign Promises

Cut middle-class income taxes by 10 percent

Evers said he would cut income taxes in his first budget by 10 percent for individuals making up to $100,000 and families making up to $150,000. He would pay for it by limiting the manufacturers and agricultural tax credit. 


Raise no taxes

In the last week of the campaign, Evers told the Washington Post, “I’m planning to raise no taxes.” He repeated this days later on the Upfront with Mike Gousha show on WISN-TV.

However, these comments appeared to not apply to the gas tax because as he made them he also said he was considering raising the gas tax. (His comments also came as he stuck by his income tax plan, which would cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on some farmers and manufacturers. The income tax plan overall appears to be a net reduction in taxes.)  

Protect coverage for pre-existing conditions

Evers said he would send a letter when he takes office that says: “As my first act in office, I am immediately withdrawing the authority previously provided under Wis. Stat. § 165.25(1m) for Wisconsin to participate in litigation over the Affordable Care Act in Texas, et al. v. the United States.”

He also pledged to “extend protections for Wisconsinites with pre-existing health conditions. It is estimated that half of Wisconsinites have some kind of pre-existing health condition like cancer, diabetes, a heart condition, obesity or depression.”

This promise focuses on the second part -- steps taken to protect coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Tighten regulations on state’s school voucher program, or end it entirely

Evers told the School Administrators Alliance in a written response to the group’s questions: “As Governor, I would work with the legislature to phase out vouchers; if Republican control of the Legislature makes that impossible, then I would ensure the state adequately funds public schools and require voucher schools to use licensed teachers, adopt student safeguards like IDEA and non-discrimination protection, and implement needed transparency measures.”

Expand background checks and put in place gun restrictions

In answer to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel questions, Evers said he supports universal background checks; regulating military-style weapons; banning bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster; and preventing those on the "no fly" list from buying guns. 

Increase spending on early childhood education

“As governor, Tony will: Increase investments in early childhood education and quality childcare, which includes helping Wisconsin families with skyrocketing childcare costs”

Increase school funding by $1.4 billion over two years in first budget

“As governor, Tony will: Increase school funding by $1.4 billion over two years in his first state budget.”

Increase spending on technical schools and UW System

“As governor, Tony will: Increase investments in both our technical schools and University of Wisconsin System.”

Increase spending on local road maintenance

“As governor, Tony will: Invest more in local road maintenance.”


Increase spending on public transit

“As governor, Tony will: Increase funding for public transit.”

Repeal changes made to prevailing wage laws

“As governor, Tony will: Repeal changes made to Wisconsin’s prevailing wage laws that simply take money out of Wisconsin’s workers’ pockets”

Accept federal Medicaid expansion money

“As governor, Tony will: Take immediate action to accept the federal Medicaid expansion dollars which would insure thousands more Wisconsinites who are struggling to find affordable health insurance.”

Bolster preventive health programs that have been defunded

“As governor, Tony will: Invest in preventive health programs, especially for Wisconsin women, that have been defunded over the last seven years. Having to drive four hours round-trip for a mammogram, simply isn’t acceptable.”

Create tax credits and other programs to boost lead abatement efforts

“As governor, Tony will:

-- Establish a comprehensive and permanent revolving loan program for lead pipe water service lines, lead-based internal plumbing and contaminated well replacements
-- Allow school districts and villages, cities, towns and counties to exceed levy limits to replace lead pipe water service lines
-- Create a thorough academic and behavioral intervention program for children with elevated blood lead levels
-- Allow individuals to claim the Historic Preservation Tax Credit for 25% of costs incurred to remove and replace windows in a historic property to remediate a lead hazard"

Dissolve and replace state economic development agency

“As governor, Tony will: Disband (the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation), replace it and return the majority of economic development dollars to local communities and regional organizations. We shouldn’t make businesses come to Madison to beg for help – we should work within our communities and local chambers of commerce to rebuild our main streets and grow our existing businesses.”

Elsewhere, Evers pledged to defund WEDC in his first budget.

Assure high-speed broadband access to all homes, businesses

“As governor, Tony will: Ensure access to high speed broadband in every Wisconsin home and business.”

Support ending solitary confinement

“As governor, Tony will support: Ending the use of solitary confinement (especially with juveniles)"

Prohibit businesses from asking applicants about criminal histories

“As governor, Tony will support: Banning the box.”

Work to cut prison population in half in coming years

Evers described this as a “goal” in various venues, acknowledging it could not be done within a single term. This issue was a source of multiple attacks during the campaign.

In a July 12 forum, Evers said he supported eventually cutting the prison population in half: 

Moderator: The multi-racial interfaith organization MICAH launched a campaign in 2011 to cut the state prison population by half, from 22,000 to 11,000. It now sits at 23,000. Do you support that original goal, and how would you balance reducing the prison population  —

Evers: Absolutely, and that's a goal that’s worth accomplishing … We have to stop people incarcerating people for non-violent crimes.

In addition, Evers provided the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel a July 2, 2018 statement that said: “I would want my administration to develop a comprehensive prison reform package that will actually prevent recidivism, decrease our prison population and save the state money. This could include drug court expansion, increased services and resources for treating drug and alcohol addiction, returning 17 year olds to the juvenile system instead of charging them as adults, revising Wisconsin’s ‘truth-in-sentencing’ laws and increased support for more community policing programs.”

In other places, Evers pledged suport for several reforms that could help achieve this goal, including ending mandatory minimum sentences and ending parole violations for technical issues.

Expand funding for Planned Parenthood

“As governor, Tony will: Reverse Scott Walker’s decision to defund Planned Parenthood and thus ensure that thousands of Wisconsin residents are still able to access important health services like breast and cervical cancer screenings, physical exams, birth control and sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing”