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emfizz.com September 24, 2017


Assembly speaker says he won't be 'held hostage' on state budget

16 September 2017, 01:17 | Patty Hardy

Assembly passes budget, Senate not on board

Robin Vos to GOP Senate budget holdouts: 'Not going to be held hostage'

But Fitzgerald did not say if that support was for the budget that passed the Assembly Wednesday - and could go straight to the desk of a supportive Walker - or for an amended budget, the future of which remains unclear in the Assembly.

All prevailing wage requirements for state projects would be eliminated under the budget in September 2018. "I'm also excited there's additional money for FAB LABS as well as additional $14 million for broadband in this budget".

In the Senate, the deal - which is more than 10 times as big as any previous state subsidy to a private project in Wisconsin - passed 20-13, largely on party lines.

Republicans met privately Wednesday to discuss the budget as the Assembly was preparing to vote on passing the $76 billion spending plan. Senate Republicans Chris Kapenga, Steve Nass, Duey Strobel, and Dave Craig are all pushing, among other things, to require referendums for local wheel taxes - allowing local governments to keep regulating quarries - and moving up a repeal of the prevailing wage for state construction projects. Fitzgerald emerged from a closed-door meeting with senators on Wednesday afternoon saying he still doesn't have 17 votes but hoped to get there by Friday.

"This budget helps thousands of families throughout our state", Nygren said on the Assembly floor. Republicans control the Assembly and Democrats don't have the votes to stop passage of the budget.

He said he initially opposed the budget because it contains too many policy items that have nothing to do with the state's finances.

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Assembly Democrats focused their criticism on tax cuts benefiting the wealthy rather than reducing taxes for the working poor, saying Republicans had "rigged" the budget against the middle class.

Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said Wednesday he does not yet have the 17 votes needed to pass the budget through the Senate. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018. "We're not going to come back and undo all the good work that we've already done because one person wants to hold the state hostage". The governor's comments were made to reporters, by conference call, during a trade visit to South Korea. Two Republicans joined all other Democrats against it.

Fitzgerald acknowledged Tuesday he lacks support to pass the latest version of the budget.

Kapenga said Thursday he doesn't plan to back down. It increases spending for K-12 public schools by 5.9 percent, freezes tuition on University of Wisconsin campuses, raises fees on electric and hybrid auto drivers, and borrows $400 million more for road projects. Walker said Wednesday he would be fine with moving up the elimination date to January 1 or even earlier.

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