Wisconsin Senate passes state budget, sends to Walker

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The Assembly passed the budget on late Wednesday night. That would prevent the Assembly from having to approve the budget a second time after a Senate vote, which has not yet been scheduled. Democrats are united against it. Republicans had been one vote shy of that entering the day as four senators had expressed objections that they said precluded them from voting for the plan.

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. They also decried what they described as Republicans' "failure of leadership" in their transportation budget, which is delaying some large highway expansion projects in southeast Wisconsin and cutting funding for highway resurfacing projects.

Debate began more than two months after the budget was supposed to have been taken effect on July 1.

The state Assembly is planning a final vote Thursday on the bill that would make $2.85 billion available to Foxconn in cash payments if it invests $10 billion and hires 13,000 workers. Assembly Republicans made minor technical changes to the budget but didn't address any of the Senate Republican demands.

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. Fitzgerald emerged from the meeting saying he still doesn't have the votes.

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

They say Foxconn offers a once-in-a-generation chance to create thousands of jobs and transform the state's tech and manufacturing sectors.

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

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.

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

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