Assembly speaker says he won't be 'held hostage' on budget

Nichole Vega
September 17, 2017

- The Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday sent Gov. Scott Walker a multibillion-dollar subsidy package for a Taiwanese company, putting within reach the governor's bid to place a massive flat-screen plant in the state.

Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released the following statement on the Assembly passage of the 2017-2019 state budget (Assembly Bill 64).

It was due on July 1, but squabbling among Republicans caused the delay.

The Wisconsin Assembly is debating a $3 billion incentive package to lure Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group to the state. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he doesn't have enough votes to get the budget out of his chamber and ship it to Walker.

The nine demands from the senators included speeding up repeal of the prevailing wage - that's slated to occur in September 2018 under the budget - and eliminating a provision that did away with local control over rock quarries that produce material for road and construction work.

The Assembly planned to vote on the budget Wednesday night. Fitzgerald emerged from the meeting saying he still doesn't have the votes. Spending continued at current levels during the impasse. She said Democrats remained united against the budget and had not been approached by Republican leadership to help broker a deal to pass it.

"We are not going to allow individual senators to rewrite the budget", Vos said.

Walker said on Wednesday he would be fine with moving up repeal of the prevailing wage from September 2018 to January 1 or earlier.

Walker told reporters earlier Wednesday he would sign off on last-minute budget changes speeding up repeal of the prevailing wage.

Republican Rep. John Nygren, co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee, acknowledged the budget has taken longer than usual but funds the state's priorities.

Democrats have countered by arguing the budget would benefit only the wealthy, noting that it would cut income taxes primarily for high earners but not for poor working families.

"All of us can walk away saying if the Legislature does nothing else this session we have accomplished our most important task", Vos said. He praised the plan that passed for sending $639 million more to K-12 schools while also slightly reducing property taxes.

Republicans who joined Democrats in voting against it were Rep. Adam Jarchow, of Balsam Lake, and Todd Novak, of Dodgeville.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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