Wisconsin's governor and legislative leaders have brokered a budget deal. Nearly nine months after he first introduced his budget, Governor Jim Doyle is finally able to announce a breakthrough . “This has been a difficult process for all of us,” said Doyle during a Capitol press conference Friday night. “Today, Democrats and Republicans begin anew, ready to move this state forward.”
Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson says it's been a tough process. “It's been a long winding road, maybe a torturous road,” said Robson, “but that's democracy.” Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch says both sides were willing to compromise. “Contrary to what many people thought, this was a day a new would come,” said Huebsch. “I knew we would get to a point where we would be able to resolve the differences.”
Huebsch and Robson say they expect passage of this budget deal by both houses of the legislature on Tuesday, bringing to a close the second longest budget delay in state history. The budget deal includes a one dollar a pack tax increase on cigarettes, a 270 million dollar transfer from the Patients Compensation Fund, and no tax on hospitals or oil companies.