The state budget is now almost 12 weeks overdue. Some Republican lawmakers have been claiming the state doesn't really need a budget, and can wait until later this year to pass one.
Governor Doyle says that's not true, and failing to pass a state budget could result in a long term financial disaster for Wisconsin. The Governor says major road and building projects around the state won't have the funding they need, UW students will see tuition hikes, and the state could lose $400 million in federal aid if a state budget is not passed this year.
Legislative leaders have been meeting behind closed doors at the Governor's mansion this week, in an effort to reach a compromise on the budget. Doyle says they're closer to an agreement since those talks began. However, Doyle is not commenting on what needs to be done for both sides to reach an agreement.
Despite that progress, the legislature is not expected to meet a deadline for midnight tonight for passing along school funding figures to DPI. School officials have said not doing so will result in a $600 million property tax hike. The Governor says it is unacceptable that property taxpayers will see a tax hike because the Legislature failed to do its job. Doyle says lawmakers will need to figure out a way to fix their mistake.
Talks at the Governor's mansion continue today between Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch and Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson.