February 23, 2018

Speaker Vos Statement on Assembly Passage of 2017-2019 Budget

16 September 2017, 01:14 | Megan Pierce

Peter Barca

Peter Barca

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.

If the Senate makes any changes to the budget the document would have to go back to the Assembly since both houses must pass an identical plan before it can go to Walker for his signature.

"For anything that hasn't been bid out, I think you could do it as quickly as the time the budget was enacted", Walker said.

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night. They are Nass, of Whitewater, David Craig, of Town of Vernon, Chris Kapenga of Delafield and Duey Stroebel of Saukville.

The governor says the potential Foxconn deal has put our state on the map globally.

Republicans have majority control of the Senate 20-13, only leaving room to lose three GOP votes with all Democrats voting against the budget.

He says for him the budget process is over.

The budget passed 57-39 with state Reps. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018.

They've also said more needs to be done to guarantee that Wisconsin workers and businesses get preference during the construction phase of the plant, and once it's up and running. They include prohibiting the University of Wisconsin System from spending $4 million on diversity training, allowing municipalities to impose wheel taxes only through referendums; repealing the state's prevailing wage on January 1 and increasing the income limit for participating in the statewide voucher program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

Another demand: barring the University of Wisconsin System from spending on "mandatory diversity, sensitivity and cultural fluency training". Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald smiled, shrugged and walked into his office without verbal comment when asked if he had secured enough support.

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Craig didn't immediately return a message Thursday morning.

Vos pushed back against the demands though, calling it a "ransom list" from lawmakers who couldn't get their way during budget negotiations.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told reporters Thursday that his chamber would reject any Senate changes.

Progress on the budget had been delayed by Senate-Assembly disagreements, especially on transportation funding, until last week, when the Joint Finance Committee passed an amended budget.

They also cited a study by the Legislature's nonpartisan fiscal bureau projecting state government will take 25 years to make back its investment on Foxconn.

It implements a new fee on hybrid and electric vehicles, which supporters call a move to tax such vehicles more comparably to vehicles powered exclusively by fossil fuel.

Democrats are also blasting the budget for not coming up with a long-term funding solution for Wisconsin roads.

In addition to setting spending levels, the budget includes a few key policy measures. Walker said Wednesday he would be fine with moving up the elimination date to January 1 or even earlier.

Democratic senators offered amendments during Friday's debate to boost school spending further to offset funding cuts in past budgets, restore the alternative minimum tax and bar insurers in Wisconsin from denying health coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions.

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