State Senate Sends Budget to Governor Walker

Scott Fitzgerald

If the Senate passes the budget without any changes, it will go to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature. They've also criticized it for lacking a long-term plan for roads projects, an omission that will further delay road work around the state and cause another $400 million to be borrowed for public-works projects.

Foxconn says in an unsigned statement that it is thankful for the "vote of confidence" and says the $3 billion will "help us move forward with our plans to build the state-of-the-art advanced display manufacturing campus".

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald notified lawmakers on Tuesday night that the Senate would be in session Friday to vote on the budget.

Republicans have a 20 seat majority in the chamber and only need 17 votes to pass the bill, but four senators remained opposed to the plan on Friday morning.

The massive bill, which the Assembly passed Wednesday, dictates spending for K-12 schools, Medicaid, the University of Wisconsin and the rest of state government. The Assembly is voting on it Wednesday.

The Assembly floor debate began at noon and dragged on until 11 p.m. 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. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018.

Walker also says he plans to veto $1 million for renovations in the state Capitol basement.

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

Both ideas have been floated by Republican senators as necessary changes to secure their votes. The budget would have also allowed votes in November of odd-numbered years.

Final sign-off by the Assembly sends the measure to the project's lead champion, Republican Gov. Scott Walker. It cleared the Senate earlier in the week and will become law once the Republican governor signs it.

"Stop asking your hardworking constituents ... to line the pockets of billionaires", said Rep. Amanda Stuck, a Democrat.

Walker is expected to sign the bill when he returns from a trade trip to South Korea in the coming days.

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.

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