Wis Dems: No budget debate was tactic, not retreat
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (left) and Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca spar Tuesday at the Capitol. Photo: Image by Mark Hoffman - Journal Sentinel
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Assembly Democrats say their decision not to debate the state budget was part of a strategy, not surrender.
Democrats prepared 211 amendments going into Wednesday's floor session but didn't introduce any of them. Minority Leader Peter Barca was the only Democrat who spoke against the spending plan before majority Republicans adopted it.
The Democrats told reporters after the vote Majority Leader Robin Vos, a Burlington Republican, told them the GOP wouldn't accept any amendments. Barca said the budget was so bad even if Republicans had adopted a couple amendments no Democrat would have voted for the entire package anyway.
The Democrats say they decided to focus on telling the public about the budget's shortcomings in hopes people will vote Republican legislators out of office next year.