This afternoon's sometimes rambling Senate debate on the state budget has focused largely on a controversial health care plan from Democrats. Minority Republicans in the state Senate jumped on the Democrat's "Healthy Wisconsin" proposal. "This is just not healthy for our state's economy, it is not healthy for the individual person living in this state," said Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin). "It's sick." Lazich said the state could build several Miller Parks for the cost of the plan's projected $15 billion annual price tag. Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) said Democrats have gone above and beyond even what Governor Jim Doyle wanted to spend: "I wish people would wake up! The governor did increase taxes, and now our Senate Democrats want to increase spending more." A Senate passed budget plan will eventually end up in a conference committee, with the budget version passed by Republicans who control the state Assembly. That process could mean a final budget is weeks or even months away.
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