A public hearing on the state budget in West Allis draws a crowd of hundreds.

State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) says nearly 400 hundred members of the public and special interest groups turned out to testify Wednesday, during a budget hearing at State Fair Park. Sullivan says lawmakers heard testimony on a wide variety of issues, but he sensed an overwhelming concern of many was what the budget will do to protect jobs. The Wauwatosa Democrat says people are very anxious right now and there's a tremendous sense of unease.

The hearing was the second of six being hosted by the Legislature's Finance Committee. While the opinions presented vary widely, Sullivan says lawmakers pay close attention to the issues raised by the public and they can impact what ends up in the final version of the budget that's passed on to the full Legislature.

Several of those who testified Wednesday called on lawmakers to protect funding for state programs, while others want tax hikes removed from the budget. Sullivan says it can be hard to balance those demands.

The statewide tour of budget hearings will continue Friday in Eau Claire. 

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:00)

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