Senate to vote on Wisconsin budget Friday

Vos slammed the door on any major changes pledging to pass the budget largely as-is Wednesday

Senate Republicans Chris Kapenga, Steve Nass, Duey Strobel, and Dave Craig are all pushing, among other things, to require referendums for local wheel taxes - allowing local governments to keep regulating quarries - and moving up a repeal of the prevailing wage for state construction projects. It's also a fiscally responsible budget that ends in a positive balance and maintains the largest rainy day fund in state history. The budget was due July 1 but Republicans spent the summer quarreling among themselves over how to pay for roads before finally arriving at a plan to delay projects, borrow $400 million more and increase registration fees for hybrid and electric vehicles by $100.

It is unclear whether or not Senate Republicans have the votes to pass the current version of the budget. If it does not pass the state Senate, the bill will head back to the state Assembly.

Several closed-door meetings were held Friday to work out a deal in an effort to push the two-month late budget to Walker.

The Assembly floor debate began at noon and dragged on until 11 p.m. Democrats focused their criticism on tax cuts benefiting the wealthy rather than reducing taxes for the working poor, saying Republicans had "rigged" the budget against the middle class.

Walker talked about the budget Wednesday in a conference call from South Korea where he is on a trade mission.

The bill would exempt Foxconn from some state rules protecting wetlands and waterways, provisions that environmental groups say they'll challenge in court.

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Walker says he would support moving up elimination of the state prevailing wage to January 1 or even sooner. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018.

Kapenga, Stroebel and Nass - who are all from southeast Wisconsin in or near the Milwaukee suburbs - issued a list of demands on Wednesday they said had to be met to secure their vote for the budget. Sen.

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night. It cleared the Senate earlier in the week and will become law once the Republican governor signs it.

Democrats don't have the votes to stop it.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill as soon as next week.

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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