WI Assembly begins debate on state budget today - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

WI Assembly begins debate on state budget today

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Assembly begins debating the state budget Tuesday.

Democrats have already said they want to make some changes to the $70 billion two-year spending plan. Republicans are hoping to keep it as close as possible to what the Joint Finance Committee passed recently.

The budget passed by the JFC cuts income taxes by $650 million, expands private school vouchers into a statewide program and rejects a federally-funded Medicaid expansion. The plan would also allow for the sale of public properties, including prisons and state highways, created a bail bondsmen program and remove residency requirements for government workers.

The budget seems certain to pass in the Assembly. But Republicans have a smaller majority in the Senate, where Democrats are urging moderate Republicans to join their opposition.

Senator Dale Schultz is one of those moderate Republicans. He's concerned about possible budget deficits, policy-related items and the expansion of the private school voucher program.

Governor Scott Walker says he's confident the budget will pass with just a few "technical changes."

Debate is scheduled to last all day Tuesday and start back up Wednesday. A vote could come Wednesday afternoon. The Senate will take up the budget Thursday.
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