When Legislative leaders announced a deal last week that they had broken an impasse on the state budget, they said the Assembly would act on the bill first and would take up the prevailing wage issue as separate legislation. That changed suddenly this week, when the Senate took action on the budget first, adding an amendment that partially repealed the wage law.
Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) told reporters Tuesday that the Senate took action first because they had the votes lined up to break an impasse on prevailing wage. The De Pere Republican also accused Assembly Republicans of “playing games” with the issue.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) fired back at Lasee Wednesday morning, arguing that Lasee’s vacation plans may have played a larger role in moving up the timetable for the Senate voting on the budget. Vos told reporters that “we had an agreement worked out, where we were going to go first…we were going to allow a separate vote on the prevailing wage issue, which was really the preference of our caucus. And then we were told throughout the negotiations that they had to go first, because Sen. Lasee had a vacation that was booked going to Mexico, and he didn’t want to change his plane tickets.”
Vos, who canceled his own vacation plans because of the budget impasse, credited the Senate with “moving Heaven and Earth to allow (Lasee) to go to Cancun.”
A message left with Lasee’s office seeking comment was not immediately returned.
The Assembly is poised to pass the biennial budget bill by the end of the day, sending the $70 billion spending plan to the governor for his signature.