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Joint Finance Committee to begin work on Gov. Walker's budget next week

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R)
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R)

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin lawmakers will get to work next week on the proposed $68 billion state budget for the next two years.

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will start hearing from cabinet secretaries who will explain how Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposals affect their operations.

The committee also plans to hold four public hearings around Wisconsin to give residents their say. Dates and locations of those hearings have not been set.

Once they’re held, the committee will consider changes to the budget.

Majority Senate Republicans have already said they’re working on a plan to give public schools a direct increase in their state aid – something Walker refused to provide in the budget he submitted almost a month ago.

Instead, the governor wants to give a 1 percent school aid increase to taxpayers, and let them decide in referendums whether the schools deserve it. GOP senators also want to scale back Walker’s proposed expansion of tax-funded private school vouchers for kids in nine additional school districts, including Madison and Green Bay.