Speaker Vos Statement on Assembly Passage of 2017-2019 Budget

Bill Rogers
September 17, 2017

Assembly Republicans passed the state budget after a 10-week delay Wednesday, sending the $76 billion spending plan to a Senate chamber paralyzed by GOP infighting. Prevailing wage requirements, meanwhile, lay out a minimum wage for workers on state construction projects.

The budget is 11 weeks overdue and three GOP senators were threatening to vote against it, but it finally passed after some last minute promises and a phone call from Walker, who is now overseas on a trade mission.

"We are not making wholesale changes to appease one senator with additional budget requests", Vos said in a press conference.

The massive bill dictating spending for K-12 schools, Medicaid, the University of Wisconsin and the rest of state government must pass both the Senate and Assembly in identical form before it can go to Walker for his signature. Democratic Reps. Peter Barca and Tod Ohnstad of Kenosha and Cory Mason of Racine joined Republicans in voting for the proposal again, just as they had when the Assembly passed an earlier version of the bill in August. She said Democrats remained united against the budget and had not been approached by Republican leadership to help broker a deal to pass it.

"This whole series of suppliers that we met with will be overall a net gain to the state of Wisconsin because they'll be coming in and investing and employing people and we presume that the biggest incentive will be, providing the fact that Foxconn will be there", Walker said Wednesday in a call with reporters.

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The Republican governor was in South Korea on a trade mission at the time of the vote but pledged to sign the incentives package into law soon. Walker also said he would support finding more savings at the Department of Transportation to win votes for the budget.

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 also pledged to make extensive use of the supply chain in the state to make Wisconsin "a center of worldwide high-tech manufacturing".

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night.

Democrats don't have the votes to stop it. The two-year spending plan includes a historic investment to K-12 schools, eliminates several taxes, and keeps property taxes below 2010, 2014 and today's levels.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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