Speaker: no major changes planned for budget despite Senate defections

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) says Assembly Republicans are not planning to make any major changes to the state budget when the Assembly takes up the bill next Tuesday, June 25.

According to Wispolitics.com, the Speaker mentioned only looking at ways to reduce the budget’s impact on property taxes and tweaking part of the transportation budget:

“As an example, Vos said lawmakers are looking to bring property taxes lower than what Evers proposed, following a Legislative Fiscal Bureau analysis showing the JFC’s budget had property taxes at the same level.

“Vos, R-Rochester, also said language regarding a vehicle miles traveled, or VMT plan, will be changed to make it clear the Joint Finance Committee wouldn’t be allowed to impose the tax. He said the original intention was for the tax to move forward only with approval from the whole Legislature.

“‘That’s kind of a technical correction; so it’s mostly things that are technical,’ Vos said. ‘There’s no substantive changes that I would say need to be done, because the budget all in all meets our priorities, meets our principles, and it’s hopefully one that will gather the vast majority of support that’s necessary to get it to Gov. Evers.'”

Speaker Vos’ comments came after a second GOP state senator announced he will vote against the JFC budget.  Republicans currently hold a 19-14 margin in the state Senate.

The two declared “no” votes — Senators Steve Nass of Whitewater and Dave Craig of Big Bend — means Republicans cannot lose the support of any additional GOP senators and still pass the budget without resorting to trying to garner Democrat support, which seems unlikely.

Whether any changes in addition to those discussed above will be made in order to secure the votes of any potentially wavering GOP senators remains to be seen.

Read more: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article; Wisconsin State Journal article