UPDATE: Wisconsin Assembly passes state budget - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Wisconsin Assembly passes state budget

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Latest on Wisconsin budget debate (all times local):

11 p.m.

UPDATE (AP) -- Assembly Republicans have passed the state budget more than two months after the document was supposed to be finished but it's still unclear when it will land on Gov. Scott Walker's desk.

The Assembly passed the budget 57-39 Wednesday evening after 11 hours of debate. The budget was supposed to be done by July 1 but GOP infighting over road funding has delayed the process.

The vote sends the $76 billion budget to the state Senate. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he doesn't have enough votes to get the budget out of his chamber and ship it to Walker. A group of Senate Republicans want to speed up repeal of the prevailing wage, block spending on University of Wisconsin System diversity training and expand the statewide voucher school program.

Senate Republicans met behind closed doors Wednesday while the Assembly was debating the budget. Fitzgerald emerged from the meeting saying he still doesn't have the votes.


MADISON (WKOW) --  The Republican-controlled State Assembly is poised to pass a proposed two-year, $76 billion state budget, with potentially thornier Senate consideration right around the corner.

Republican Assembly leaders hail the proposal as the engine to move Wisconsin forward economically, with more worker training funds, and targeted tax cuts.  But Assembly Democrats label the spending.plan as "rigged" for the wealthy and special interests, with a failure to produce a long term scheme to.fund major road projects and other infrastructure work.

"You will not hear me say this again...but the Democrats have a point,"  Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) concedes.  But Vos says budget funds for transportation will allow road projects to go forward, and avoid further deterioration of the state's road system.  But Democrats predict project delays.

Republican leaders swatted away amendment after amendment Wednesday proposed by Democrats.  One of the proposals.attempted to stop the end of a guaranteed wage amount for workers on state construction projects.

Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) chided Republicans for dumping the wage guarantee while funding Foxconn's planned manufacturing plant.  "Somehow, we have $3 billion to give to a...millionaire...but we can't pay our construction workers a middle income.wage."

Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) countered with a quote from an electrician who was in line to make more on a state project.

"He said, 'As a taxpayer, I'm offended that you think my work has to be artificially inflated.  As a taxpayer, you should be looking for the best deal based on the quality of the work,' " Nygren says of his talk with the tradesman.

The budget proposal also provides additional funding to K through 12 education, and more than $200 million to the UW System, a sum Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) called "measly," in light of other budget expenditures and campus needs.

Vos called the budget sound and thoroughly vetted, and warned his Republican Senate colleagues to recognize the deliberation involved in arriving at the proposal.

"We're not going to be held hostage to individuals who have some sort of wish list they want "  Vos says.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) indicated Tuesday he lacked the votes to pass the budget in the Senate, but revised his outlook Wednesday, stating he had "adequate support" for budget passage.

The Assembly is expected to.pass the proposal by Thursday, with Senate consideration scheduled for Friday.

The state budget is more than two months late, but there's been no state government shutdown, as state spending has continued at existing levels.


MADISON (AP) --    The Wisconsin Senate plans to vote on final passage of the state budget Friday.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald notified lawmakers on Tuesday night that the Senate would be in session Friday to vote on the budget. The Assembly is voting on it Wednesday.

Fitzgerald said Tuesday that he did not yet have the 17 Republican votes needed to pass the $76 billion spending plan. Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday he was OK with a couple changes being suggested by reluctant Republican senators in order to secure their support.

The budget is more than two months late due to Republicans who control the Legislature being unable to agree on several key issues, primarily how to pay for transportation funding.

The Assembly is getting first crack at the $76 billion state budget, beginning debate on the two-year spending plan that's more than two months late but could quickly pass the full Legislature.

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night. That would set up a possible final vote in the Senate this week or early next. Legislative approval would send the budget to Gov. Scott Walker, who's expected to sign it and issue vetoes soon.

Democrats don't have the votes to stop it.

The budget up for debate largely mirrors what Walker introduced in February and comes before he runs for re-election next year. It sends $639 million more to K-12 public schools and imposes a new fee on hybrid vehicles.

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