Despite claims from the governor that a budget deal may be in place, legislative leaders caution that there is still more work to be done.
The state budget is now more than seven weeks overdue and the Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday for the first time since June. Walker said Tuesday that the scheduled hearing shows that “in principle” lawmakers have reached a deal to end a stalemate. The governor offered some details of that agreement, which he said includes a reduction in personal property taxes and borrowing for transportation.
Legislative leaders warned though that they are not quite done negotiating the issues that have held up the budget, such as transportation funding. “There has been discussion…and there’s framework in place where general conversations have gotten us to a place where we’re pretty close,” said JFC co-chair John Nygren (R-Marinette). “To say we have a deal right now, I think would be premature.”
Fellow co-chair Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) added that there have been a lot of good discussions, but they still need to bring proposals back to their caucuses.
Darling said she expects the committee to wrap up its work on the state budget after Labor Day, and hopes to have the Legislature vote on the package by mid-September. Governor Walker has said he hopes to be able to sign the budget by the end of the summer – which is September 22.