WI Assembly Passes State Budget

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Assembly has passed the state budget.

The two-year spending plan approved by the Assembly on Tuesday now heads to the Senate,  where its fate is less certain. Republicans hold a 19-14 advantage in the senior chamber, where 17 votes are needed for passage. But two senators already announced they would vote against it, saying it spends too much to warrant their support. One more GOP defector and Republicans would need at least one Democrat to support it. The Senate is scheduled to debate the budget  this morning.

Senate passage would send the measure to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who isn’t saying yet whether he will sign the plan or veto it. He can also make changes with his expansive partial veto power.

The Assembly approved some last-minute changes to the budget that will slightly reduce a property tax increase, allow electric-car manufacturer Tesla to open dealerships in the state and require the full Legislature to approve any new per-mile driven fee.

The budget does not include a proposal by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to raise the gas tax, however it does tweak a study of mileage-based tolling in Wisconsin, a move some say could open the door to toll roads in Wisconsin.

The Assembly passed it on a 60-39 vote. Three Republicans joined all 36 Democrats in voting no.

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