State budget battle, Wisconsin Assembly to vote Tuesday

NOW: State budget battle, Wisconsin Assembly to vote Tuesday


MADISON (CBS 58) -- The state assembly is set to vote on Wisconsin’s next budget this Tuesday. However, lawmakers on both sides will have to compromise before it's passed.

University of Milwaukee political science professor Mordecai Lee said that's the challenging part. "The Republican Legislature and the Democratic Governor are barely talking to each other."

Two GOP lawmakers have threatened to vote against the $81-billion proposal drafted by their party. If one more Republican senator vows to vote against it, the budget won't pass.

Those senators say there's too much spending. “Overall the spending has just taken over. It is less than Tony Evers' budget, however, Tony Evers' budget was astronomically expensive," said Sen. Stephen Nass.

The Republican budget strips many of Gov. Evers' top priorities including a big increase in education funding. But as governor, Evers has the option to use his line item veto power to get closer to his goals.

"It's possible that the governor will say, spending on education is so important to me, that unless you include a spending level that's to what I want, I'm gonna veto the whole budget," Lee said.

This, however, hasn't happened in decades, according to Lee.

There will likely also be a fight over tax cuts. Both sides want tax cuts, but disagree on how to pay for it.

Another possible scenario is Evers can reshape the budget. "He can delete sentences, he can reduce numbers but he can't increase spending, he can't add words."

Both the assembly and the Senate must pass the budget before it gets to Evers desk. The state will continue to operate under former Gov. Walker's last budget, until the new one goes into effect.

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