The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee has approved a state stimulus plan. The measure passed Tuesday on a 12-4 vote, with Republicans opposing the bill.
Committee co-chair, Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison), says it will help the state wisely spend federal stimulus dollars and prevent roadblocks to jump starting the economy.
The bill allows the state to spend $300 million in stimulus money on road projects, funds worker training programs, and cuts state spending. It also aims to close some of the state's $5.7 billion budget gap through a tax on hospitals and Internet sales, along with closing the so-called "Las Vegas loophole" that allows companies to avoid taxes by setting up a headquarters in another state.
Republicans were critical of the plan. State Representative Robin Vos saying the bill has "$10 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts."
An amendment was approved that gives the full committee oversight on how federal stimulus dollars are spent, rather than putting most of the decision making power in the hands of the governor and JFC co-chairs. The move came after harsh criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.
The Legislature is expected to vote on the plan Wednesday.