State Budget Talks Resuming

7/19/17 – Republican state legislative leaders are expected to meet again Wednesday with Governor Scott Walker, but it remains to be seen whether they can agree on a new state budget that’s 19 days overdue. G-O-P Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald announced a plan Tuesday to borrow 712-million dollars for two years, and instead of using gas tax and road fees to pay it back, half the bonding would be paid back by the general fund that pays for things like schools and Medicaid. The Senate G-O-P also wants to end the state’s alternative minimum tax for higher incomes and the personal property tax on business equipment — and to pay for that, the Senate would drop the Republican Walker’s plans to cut income taxes by 203-million, expand the earned income credit for the working poor, and adopt a sales tax holiday on back to school purchases in August. Fitzgerald admitted he was not sure if he had the votes to pass his party’s budget plan, but leaders proposed it in the hopes of getting the Assembly to go along and get a new state budget passed soon. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who opposes any more highway borrowing, says his Republicans will give the Senate package “fair consideration.” In the meantime, state spending continues at levels from the last budget.