In an unexpected move, the Wisconsin state Senate will take up debate on the state budget on Tuesday, before the two year spending plan is taken up by the Assembly.
The Senate action follows the completion of the budget last week by the Joint Committee on Finance. It was anticipated at the time that the Assembly would take up the roughly $70 billion package first.
Majority Republicans on the finance panel signed off on a transportation package that greatly reduced the $1.3 billion in bonding included in the budget proposed by Governor Scott Walker. The changes reduced bonding to $500 million, while setting aside another $350 million for requests by the Department of Transportation that would need approval from the JFC.
Lawmakers also backed a tax package that includes increasing the standard deduction for married tax filers, federalizes the alternative minimum tax, and phases out the ability of the troubled Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to issue loans.
Senate President Mary Lazich told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Republicans will include a partial repeal of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law when they take up the budget.
If the Assembly completes its work on the budget this week, that could leave enough time for Governor Scott Walker to sign it before he’s expected to officially announce his campaign for president next Monday in Waukesha.