January 4, 2011 / 11:11 PM / in 8 years

Wisconsin governor wants two-thirds vote for taxes

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker unveiled draft legislation on Tuesday that would require a supermajority vote in the legislature for tax increases.

Walker, a Republican who took office on Monday, released several bills to be taken up by lawmakers during a special session that began on Tuesday.

The bill dealing with tax rates would require a two-thirds vote in each chamber to raise state sales, income or franchise taxes. Currently, a simple majority vote is required to pass a tax hike, according to Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie.

Other bills pushed by Walker would grant tax credits for businesses relocating in the state and curb lawsuits seeking damages against companies or healthcare providers.

Walker issued an executive order for the special session on Monday, saying it sends “an immediate message to job creators that Wisconsin is open for business.”

Also on Tuesday, Walker appointed Brian Hayes, who has held various positions in the Wisconsin Department of Administration, as the state’s budget director.

Walker’s administration has pegged the shortfall in the state’s upcoming $26.7 billion two-year general fund budget at about $3 billion.

Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by Leslie Adler

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