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State's two-year budget nearly finalized after Senate vote

17 September 2017

But he said they center around a list of nine demands he and Republican Sens.

Now, Sens. Steve Nass, Duey Stroebel and Chris Kapenga are demanding a number of major last-minute changes.

Republicans met privately Wednesday to discuss the budget as the Assembly was preparing to vote on passing the $76 billion spending plan. Wisconsin is one of only two states with a July 1 deadline that still doesn't have a budget enacted.

Democrats are beginning their attack on the budget focusing on a proposal to eliminate the prevailing wage, a move opposed by construction unions. Luther Olsen says there are 19 GOP votes for the plan.

Walker talked about the budget Wednesday in a conference call from South Korea where he is on a trade mission. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018.

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"Once we vote for the budget today, we are done with the budget process", Vos said.

The Senate was scheduled to begin debate on Friday.

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 vetoes promised by Governor Scott Walker include moving up a complete repeal of the state's prevailing wage law from next fall to when the budget is signed, making changes to a provision that restricts when school districts can hold referenda votes, and removing language that would have expanded the authority of the controversial Public Financing Authority. Numerous Democratic amendments were rejected Friday. Republicans control the Assembly and Democrats don't have the votes to stop passage of the budget.

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

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"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.

Republican Rep. John Nygren, co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee, acknowledged the budget has taken longer than usual but funds the state's priorities. "There's no other way to put it".

Democrats have assailed the budget as a missed opportunity that benefits the wealthy since it would cut income taxes primarily paid by high earners but not reduce income taxes across the board or for poor working families as Walker had urged.

Foxconn says it also plans to "make use of the extensive supply chain in the state".

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State's two-year budget nearly finalized after Senate vote