Senate to vote on Wisconsin budget Friday

17 September, 2017, 00:59 | Author: Sherri Guerrero
  • Wisconsin General Assembly Gives Green Light To Foxconn Deal

- The Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday sent Gov. Scott Walker a multibillion-dollar subsidy package for a Taiwanese company, putting within reach the governor's bid to place a massive flat-screen plant in the state.

The Assembly passed the budget on late Wednesday night. The budget was due July 1 but Republicans spent the summer quarreling among themselves over how to pay for roads before finally arriving at a plan to delay projects, borrow $400 million more and increase registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles by $100.

"Once we vote for the budget today, we are done with the budget process", Vos said. A group of Senate Republicans want to speed up repeal of the prevailing wage, block spending on University of Wisconsin System diversity training and expand the statewide voucher school program.

Vos' stance contrasted with Walker, who said earlier Wednesday that he's open to changing the state budget to mollify Republican senators delaying its passage. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who co-chairs the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, and Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) speaking up in defense of the plan.

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

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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. "I think we can do better", Shilling said. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018.

A previous version of the bill already passed the chamber but must be re-passed with recent changes added by the state Senate and the Legislature's budget panel. Democrats are united against it.

All Assembly Republicans and four Democrats voted for the bill. They began the session by proposing a budget amendment, quickly voted down by the GOP majority, to reinstate Wisconsin's prevailing, or minimum, wage requirement for workers on public construction projects.

The $76 billion spending plan includes investment to K-12 schools, eliminates several taxes and keeps property taxes low, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said in a statement.

The governor has the ability to line-item veto parts of any bill, meaning he can take out parts of the budget that he doesn't like before signing the rest into law.

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