Even though the state budget is more than two months overdue, there's nothing the governor to do to speed up the process.
Governor Jim Doyle says the very first two budgets he signed as governor were much harder than this one, and they got done in a timely manner, yet lawmakers just can't seem to get this budget to his desk. Doyle is frustrated with the unwillingness of members of the Legislative Conference Committee to do their job.
"They are supposed to adopt a budget. And adopting a budget means you have to make hard choices. I gave them a budget in February. I had to make a lot of hard choices to put forth the budget I had. The Joint Finance Committee considered that budget for months. They passed a budget."
The governor says lawmakers need to make compromises, but he's not willing to encourage members of his party to remove the big ticket item — Healthy Wisconsin — from the budget negotiations.
"I'm gonna be very careful about not getting into the negotiations. I mean I am in them, our office is in them privately but who says what and who does what … I mean we gotta get this deal done and it's not my position to tell one side or the other what they have to take off or put on the table."
Even though the governor will be overseas for his trade mission to China, he'll continue to keep a close eye on the budget work, or lack thereof.
"We have people who work on this budget night and day who are in communication all the time with legislative offices and you know in the modern world with Blackberries I'm never gonna be out of touch."