One state lawmaker suggests scrapping the Joint Finance Committee budget process. The budget writing panel consists of eight Democrats and eight Republicans. That's resulted in several deadlocked votes, and the most contentious new taxes in the governor's proposed budget haven't even come up yet. "We may as well just forget Joint Finance," says Assembly Republican Steve Nass of Whitewater. "The respective houses can go to their budgets, and pass them, and go directly to the conference committee." Nass says the budget is going to end up in conference committee anyway, because Republicans on Joint Finance will never vote in favor of Governor Doyle's proposed taxes on cigarettes, hospitals and oil company profits. However, Nass concedes his boss, Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, wants to stick with the process. Nass says he would not be surprised to see the state budget process last well into August or even September. The Joint Finance Committee continues its deliberations on the budget this week.

AUDIO: Bob Hague reports (:60 MP3)

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