Governor Scott Walker thinks lawmakers could soon have a deal in place on the state budget.
Speaking in Milwaukee Wednesday afternoon, Walker said “I think in the next few days, we’re likely to see the framework of a budget deal come together…something I believe that can get through the Joint Finance Committee, and I believe that the Senate and Assembly will be in a good position to act quickly on.”
A main sticking point on the budget right now remains Walker’s proposed $1.3 billion in borrowing for transportation spending. Republican leaders have indicated they want that figure reduced by at least $800 million, which would likely force delays for several road projects. They have been at odds over which projects will be affected though, with many wanting to exempt major southeastern Wisconsin projects, such as Milwaukee’s Zoo Interchange. Walker said he can understand the debate, but noted the interchange impacts commerce all across the state.
Wisconsin’s current fiscal year ends on June 30, although many budgets have been finished after that date. The governor pointed out that, unlike the federal government, state government will not shut down if a budget is not passed before July 1. Instead, the state will continue operating under the current budget. Still, Walker said he would “certainly like to have it by then” and believes lawmakers are in a good position to have it to him by the end of the month, or shortly after.