The Wisconsin state Assembly passed the Republican-crafted state budget on Tuesday night, along largely partisan lines. The $80.5 billion two year spending plan is scheduled to be taken up by the Senate on Wednesday. Democratic Governor Tony Evers has yet to indicate what sorts of veto actions he may take.
As Assembly debate wound down, Speaker Robin Vos excoriated Democrats for failing to support what he called a “middle ground” budget.
“We’ve taken out almost all of the competitive Democrats but there are some of you. And you’re going to have a heck of a time going back and explaining to people who live in Wauwatosa and Brookfield why you’re voting just like someone who lives in downtown Madison.”
Minority Leader Godorn Hintz urged members to vote “no” on the Republican budget, as budget.
“The decision has real consequences on health care, on other state programs, on our state’s future. You accuse Democrats of finding a way to oppose everything, yet Wisconsin Republicans won’t even support a measure (accepting federal money to expand Medicaid) supported by Republicans in every neighboring state. You picked winners and losers when you didn’t have to, and a budget that wastes state money, that fails to make the investments necessary and possible, is not a budget worthy of support.”
Three Republicans and all Democrats voted against the budget as it passed 60-39.
Assembly Republicans tweaked the spending plan with an amendment that allow car manufacturer Tesla to sell directly to consumers. A Republican in the Senate, where Republicans cannot afford to lose more than two votes, also has a business selling Tesla parts. The GOP amendment also would add more assistant DA positions, and provide towns an additional $5 million for roads. It also would pump another 6-point-2 million dollars into the lottery credit to ensure the GOP budget would have a lower property tax bill for a “median-valued home” than in the budget Governor Tony Evers proposed.