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State budget faces uncertainty in State Senate

State Assembly to vote on budget. Sept. 13, 2017.  (WLUK/Courtney Ryan) 

MADISON (WLUK) -- After passing the Assembly Wednesday night, the budget is now the hands of the Senate.

However, the question remains, will the Senate have the votes to pass it?

“We are not going to allow individual Senators to renegotiate the entire budget," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester.

After a closed door meeting Wednesday, Senate leaders said right now they don’t have 17 votes needed to pass the budget.

Assembly leaders say they hope the Senate gathers the votes in the next two days.

“I am not going to be held hostage by individuals at the end who have had 9 months to lay out what their priorities are and they wait until the last 24 hours to say here’s what else I want," explained Vos.

Some Republican Senators want amendments that would repeal the prevailing wage sooner than September 2018. They also want more reforms for the Department of Transportation.

Despite the Senator’s wants, Assembly Republicans only made small technical changes and didn’t include anything that would turn “No” votes into “Yes” votes.

During Wednesday’s Assembly debate, Democrats said they were disappointed in the transportation portion of the budget.

"You believe in borrowing and spending you have absolutely ignored everything your constituents have asked you to do for transportation," said State Rep. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton.

Assembly Democrats also didn’t think the $639 million investment was good enough.

"It was hey look at all this new money for schools," it was "hey we're putting some money into the university system isn't this great?" You don't get credit trying to fix the problems that you've created over the last six years," said State Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh.

Republicans disagreed and said the budget benefits all taxpayers.

"It puts us in a better place to be able to make long-term commitments to K-12 education, long-term commitments to our state," said State Rep. John Nygren, R- Marinette.

On Thursday, the Assembly will vote on the $3 billion Foxconn incentives bill.


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