Legislature's Joint Finance Committee passes budget - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Legislature's Joint Finance Committee passes budget


MADISON (WKOW) -- After a marathon 12-hour meeting, the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee passed a two-year budget plan early this morning.

The budget includes a 75-cent per-pack cigarette tax increase, a new tax on large oil companies, cuts to schools and state government, and other measures to balance a $6.6 billion shortfall.

Republicans argued repeatedly that average citizens and businesses will be hurt under the plan.

Democrats say average taxpayers are protected.

There are no general sales or income tax increases.

Another item that passed is a 75-cents surcharge added to phone bills to fund 911 centers.

A proposal for driver's card for illegal immigrants also passed.

Governor Jim Doyle does call for furloughing state workers for 16 days and perhaps laying off up to 1,400 due to spending cuts.

The budget now heads to the Democratic-controlled Assembly where it could be taken up as early as June 9.   

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