Republican leaders in the Legislature continue to work behind closed doors on the state budget, although it remains unclear whether they will wrap up their work before the state’s current fiscal year ends next Tuesday.
Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) remains optimistic that both chambers could pass a bill before next week. “I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said Tuesday. “I’ve seen deals come together quicker than that.”
Transportation spending, funding for a Milwaukee Bucks arena, and a repeal of the prevailing wage still need to be sorted out, before lawmakers can vote on the budget. Republican leaders are at odds about how a possible $800 million in cuts to transportation spending will impact projects statewide, while there’s disagreement about whether the Bucks or prevailing wage issues should be included at all. Fitzgerald said there’s some movement in those areas, but declined to offer many details. “A lot of items that need to be ironed out…some are small things, but yeah, we’re making progress. No doubt about it,” he said.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) offered only a brief comment that they are “making progress,” but declined to elaborate to reporters.
Joint Finance Committee co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) said he remains hopeful the panel would meet this week to wrap up its work on the budget. The JFC has not met in executive session on the budget since May 29.