Wisconsin Senate Begins Budget Debate

Randall Craig
September 17, 2017

"This whole series of suppliers that we met with will be overall a net gain to the state of Wisconsin because they'll be coming in and investing and employing people and we presume that the biggest incentive will be, providing the fact that Foxconn will be there", Walker said Wednesday in a call with reporters. The budget was supposed to be done by July 1 but GOP infighting over road funding has delayed the process.

The Wisconsin Senate has passed the state budget 11 weeks after it was due, sending the $76 billion spending plan to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The Assembly approved the package 59-30 last month but had to take it up again because the Senate adopted changes to it on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said he has five or six senators who still have concerns regarding the budget, according to Wisconsin Radio Network.

Walker reached a deal with three holdout Republicans to win their support for the deal. Steve Nass and Duey Stroebel released Wednesday.

Nass, Stroebel and Kapenga wrote a memo demanding amendments that would prohibit UW from spending $4 million on diversity training for students and faculty; raise the income eligibility for the statewide voucher program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level; repealing the state prevailing wage on January 1; and forbid municipalities from imposing any wheel tax not approved through a referendum.

The plan passed late Friday night on a 19-14 vote, following assurances from the governor that several provisions would be vetoed.

"Please do not go down this road, because we will be paying for it and our children will be paying for it for decades to come", said Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit.

Assembly Democrats, who didn't have the votes to stop it, slammed the proposal September 14 as being unfairly rigged to benefit Foxconn at the expense of taxpayers.

Assembly Democrats, speaking before the session, said the budget shows Republicans' priorities by "rigging" the state's economy to favor the wealthy.

High cost transportation aid is in that budget.

Democrats blasted the budget as overdue and falling short of what was required to help the state's public schools and working families.

Walker said Wednesday that the budget would fulfill his goal of increasing funding for K-12 schools without increasing property taxes.

Republican Reps. Scott Allen, Janel Brandtjen, Bob Gannon, Adam Jarchow and Joe Sanfelippo voted against the budget.

Walker says in a statement he looks forward to signing the budget soon.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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