Wisconsin Senate to introduce budget proposal

MADISON, Wis. - Two weeks after the deadline to pass a state budget, Republicans in Wisconsin's Senate plan to unveil a spending plan and end the budget impasse.

This comes after Assembly Republicans released a version of their own. Disagreements between the two legislative branches have the budget at an impasse.

Senate Majority Scott Fitzgerald, Joint Finance Committee co-chairwoman Senator Alberta Darling and Senate President Roger Roth will release the Senate Republican caucus' proposal for the 2017-2019 spending plan at a press conference Tuesday morning.

The proposal will include their recommendations for K-12 schools, taxes and transportation. Those are areas not yet taken up by the Legislature's budget-writing committee in the wake of disagreement between Republican leaders in the House and Senate over how to address transportation funding.

Senate Majority Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, both Republicans, blame each other for the budget committee's hiatus and missing the state budget deadline.

Fitzgerald has said that if disagreements continue after the release of the Senate proposal, he would consider first introducing it in the Senate and then sending it to the Assembly. That would bypass using the Legislature's budget committee which writes the state budget plan each budget cycle, then forwards the written plan to both houses.

Speaker Robin Vos wants new revenue sources to pay for road projects, keeping transportation spending flat instead of borrowing more for roads projects.

Fitzgerald called that idea a "non-starter."

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