After a dramatic showdown within the Republican majority in the state Senate, Wisconsin's $76 billion budget is finally on its way to the governor's desk more than two months late. He's promised to make several vetoes to secure the deal.
The senators say Walker also plans to veto the budget to allow school districts to conduct referendum votes only on regularly scheduled primary and general election days.
The Senate approved the budget on a vote of 19-14, with all Republicans except David Craig from the town of Vernon supporting it. Craig had objected to overall spending increases in the budget. They've also criticized it for lacking a long-term plan for roads projects, an omission that will further delay road work around the state and cause another $400 million to be borrowed for public-works projects.
All Assembly Republicans and four Democrats voted for the bill. Assembly Republicans made minor technical changes to the budget but didn't address any of the Senate Republican demands.
The state Assembly began debating the budget shortly after noon Wednesday.
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. They are Democratic Minority Leader Peter Barca, Cory Mason, of Racine, and Tod Ohnstad, of Kenosha.
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 bill awaits Walker's signature after clearing Assembly
Walker talked about the budget Wednesday in a conference call from South Korea where he is on a trade mission.
The governor says the potential Foxconn deal has put our state on the map globally.
The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he wants to vote on the budget on Friday but doesn't have the votes.
Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, said in a statement the budget is "responsible and accountable to Wisconsin families".
Democrats don't have the votes to stop it.
Walker, who is gearing up to run for a third term next year, also defended the proposed budget plan, saying it fulfills his goals of increasing funding for K-12 schools without increasing property taxes.
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