Senate still 1 vote short of passing budget

Assembly passes budget, Senate not on board

Assembly passes budget, Senate not on board

"Others are voting yes, they can defend their vote, that's fine".

The Assembly approved the package 59-30 last month but had to take it up again because the Senate adopted changes to it on Tuesday.

The Assembly passed the budget Wednesday, and Speaker Robin Vos is calling the demands from the senators a "ransom list".

Nass, Stroebel and Kapenga, meanwhile, have developed a list of changes they want to see in the budget before they'll vote for it.

Walker defended the proposed budget plan from Democratic critics, saying it fulfills his goals of increasing funding for K-12 schools without increasing property taxes.

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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. The plan preserves funding for two ongoing projects in Dane County: one to expand and rebuild Verona Road near McKee Road; the other, U.S. Interstate 39-90 from the Madison area to IL.

If the Senate doesn't have the votes or makes any revisions, then the budget heads back to the Assembly.

He says for him the budget process is over. The budget needs to pass through both the Senate and Assembly before it can go to Gov. Scott Walker for final approval. Lawmakers and Walker already are more than 10 weeks past a July 1 deadline to enact a budget.

Republicans responded by casting Democratic opposition to the deal as knee-jerk resistance to Walker, who negotiated the Foxconn deal. It also eliminates, starting in 2019, the state's alternative minimum tax, which applies to individuals making between $200,000 and $500,000 a year.

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

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As the Senate's vote to pass the budget looms this Friday, current tensions within the Republican party renew fear that the budget will not pass on its first round. Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he was OK with a couple changes being suggested by reluctant Republican senators in order to secure their support.

Right now, Governor Scott Walker is on a trade mission in Japan and South Korea and he says he's met with a number of companies looking to invest in Wisconsin. Walker said Wednesday he would be fine with moving up the elimination date to January 1 or even earlier.

"I'm still confident we'll have a budget by the end of the summer", Walker said.

Republican Rep. John Nygren, co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee, acknowledged the budget has taken longer than usual but would pay for the state's priorities. 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. Assembly Republicans made minor technical changes to the budget but didn't address any of the Senate Republican demands. It cleared the Senate earlier in the week and will become law once the Republican governor signs it.

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