Economy

Assembly passes state budget after 11 hours of debate

Assembly passes state budget after 11 hours of debate”

Assembly Republicans have passed the state budget more than two months after the document was supposed to be finished but it's still unclear when it will land on Gov. Scott Walker's desk.

While the state Assembly passed the state budget Wednesday night by a 57-39 margin, its future in the Senate remains uncertain. Scott Allen, R-Waukesha, Janel Brandtjen, R-Menominee Falls, Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, Bob Gannon, R-West Bend, Joe Sanfelippo, R-New Berlin opposing the bill.

Republicans defended the budget, saying it increases funding for public schools, freezes University of Wisconsin System tuition and demonstrates the GOP is working for the people of the state, not for government.

Sens. Steve Nass, Duey Stroebel and Chris Kapenga have put together a memo outlining their demands.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he wants to vote on the budget on Friday but doesn't have the votes.

Vos said he was disappointed with the road funding - he had pushed for raising more revenue by raising the gas tax or raising vehicle registration fees rather than borrowing more money - but pledged that the Assembly would not return to the floor next week to adopt any Senate changes.

"This budget helps thousands of families throughout our state", Nygren said on the Assembly floor.

"Once we vote for the budget today, we are done with the budget process", Vos said at a press conference.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said Wednesday that the budget already faced a lengthy negotiation in the Joint Finance Committee, and he's open only to technical changes at this point.

Fitzgerald, who now leads the Senate, responded to Vos by saying that the speaker's refusal to accept the Senate's revisions of the budget is "not how the process works", referring to how governments operate on negotiations.

Walker says he'll stand beside some revisions to the budget bill in order to win over several of the Senate Republicans who are holding out against passing it forward. "We are not going to allow individual senators to being renegotiating the entire budget", he argued. Both ideas have been floated by Republican senators who have said they don't yet support the two-year budget.



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