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Speaker Vos Statement on Assembly Passage of 2017-2019 Budget

Speaker Vos Statement on Assembly Passage of 2017-2019 Budget

The Wisconsin Senate is began debating the proposed state budget today.

Senate Republicans have enough votes to pass the state budget on Friday, a step that would end an 11-week delay and break a stalemate among the GOP that blocked a final vote, a member of the Legislature's budget committee told The Associated Press.

"We don't even know if the Senate can pass this budget, it's so bad", Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca said.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said he has five or six senators who still have concerns regarding the budget, according to Wisconsin Radio Network.

Three Democrats from that region voted for the bill. Both are sought by Republican senators who say they're not ready to pass the budget. The Senate must pass an identical document before it can go to Gov. Scott Walker's desk.

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. The Assembly is voting on it Wednesday. Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he was OK with a couple changes being suggested by reluctant Republican senators in order to secure their support.

Democrats have countered by arguing the budget would benefit only the wealthy, noting that it would cut income taxes primarily for high earners but not for poor working families.

The Republican governor was in South Korea on a trade mission at the time of the vote but pledged to sign the incentives package into law soon. The budget would repeal it on September 1, 2018.

Foxconn also pledged to make extensive use of the supply chain in the state to make Wisconsin "a center of worldwide high-tech manufacturing".

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

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night.

Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, said in a statement the budget is "responsible and accountable to Wisconsin families".

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

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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