Assembly to Begin State Budget Debate
CREATED Jun. 17, 2013
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Assembly plans to begin debate of the state budget, with Republicans hoping to fight back any significant changes to the $70 billion two-year spending plan.
The budget up for debate Tuesday would cut income taxes by $650 million, extend private school vouchers statewide, and reject a federally funded Medicaid expansion.
Monday in Green Bay, Democratic lawmakers called on Republicans to make changes to the budget, specifically to allow Wisconsin to accept money to fund the Medicaid Expansion Program.
“There should be adjustments in this budget,” said Sen. Dave Hansen, (D) 30th Senate District. “There are Republican Senators that think we should take the expansion and expand Badgercare, but are they going to have the courage to stand up and do the right thing?”
But Rep. Chad Weininger, (R) 4th Assembly District, said the state cannot bank on money that is not guaranteed from the national government.
“The federal government hasn't been able to balance a budget in many years and there's a lot of uncertainty there, not only for the Medicaid piece of it, but our entire economy,” said Weininger.
Assembly debate is scheduled to last all day Tuesday and then resume Wednesday. A vote is expected Wednesday afternoon. The Senate will then take it up on Thursday.
The budget must pass both houses in identical form before heading to Gov. Scott Walker.