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Sen. President Ellis okay with creating projected $505 million budget deficit

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The president of the Wisconsin Senate says it’s okay that the next state budget will create a half-billion dollar deficit in the following budget in 2015.

Republican Mike Ellis has expressed concerns in the past about a budget that pushes millions-of-dollars in state spending obligations more than two years down the road.

Today, though, Ellis said he can live with the $505-million shortfall that was projected by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau for the 2015-through-’17 budget.

The figure did not include any changes in state revenues due to economic activity – and Ellis says that even meager economic growth will make up for the shortfall.

Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Jon Richards used the shortfall projection to again chide Republicans on their budget priorities.

Richards again condemned the massive income tax cuts in the GOP’s two-year package.

Richards said quote, “Only in Republican Fantasy-land is it a good idea to turn a surplus into a deficit by blowing it on tax cuts for the rich.”

The Fiscal Bureau also says the budget endorsed last week by the Joint Finance Committee would raise the average homeowner’s property taxes by $29 a year.