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Democratic leaders won't support state budget plan

State Rep Peter Barca speaks to reporters (Photo: Wisconsin Radio Network)
State Rep Peter Barca speaks to reporters (Photo: Wisconsin Radio Network)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - It does not appear that any Democrats will support the proposed Wisconsin state budget, based on what their leaders said Wednesday.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted 12-4 after an all-night session to send the two-year spending and policy package to the full Assembly.

Minority Leader Peter Barca said the panel, “saved several of Governor Scott Walker’s most damaging budget proposals until the last day” of committee action.

Barca terms the proposed $650 million tax cut as a break for the rich, paid for by school students who lost state aid in the last budget.

Republicans note that everyone will benefit at least a little from the increase in the income tax cut – and schools will get an extra $150 per student in each of the next two years.

Democratic Senate leader Chris Larson called the budget a handout to special interests and the wealthy. He repeated his earlier accusations that lobbyists influenced what was discussed in the GOP’s secret negotiating sessions on the budget.

A full Assembly debate is expected in two weeks – and by then, GOP leaders hope to round up the 50 votes they’ll need to approve the budget.

They can have 10 defectors, and still pass the budget without a single Democratic vote. In the Senate, one Republican can stray from the party line without needing the other party for passage.