Wisconsin General Assembly Gives Green Light To Foxconn Deal

Angelica Greene
September 16, 2017

Stephen Nass now backs the budget following talks with Gov. Scott Walker about using his line-item veto authority on parts of the budget.

"This whole series of suppliers that we met with will be overall a net gain to the state of Wisconsin because they'll be coming in and investing and employing people and we presume that the biggest incentive will be, providing the fact that Foxconn will be there", Walker said Wednesday in a call with reporters. Barca, who was criticized by some fellow Democrats for supporting the bill, said last week he was stepping down as minority leader in the wake of his vote.

The Republican-controlled Assembly planned to vote Wednesday night.

"This budget helps thousands of families throughout our state", Nygren said on the Assembly floor. "Today we showed Wisconsin that we're committed to moving our state forward".

All Assembly Republicans and four Democrats voted for the bill.

He says for him the budget process is over. More than 10 weeks already has passed since lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker missed a budget-enactment deadline. As it's now written in the budget, that repeal would take effect in September 2018.

Assembly Republicans passed the state budget after a 10-week delay Wednesday, sending the $76 billion spending plan to the state Senate, which has been paralyzed by GOP infighting.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, accused the holdout Republican senators of a last-second bid to blow up a budget agreement among Republican leaders.

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"We are going to live within our ability to pay", said Republican Rep. John Nygren, co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee, at a news conference. Walker made calls to senators "to listen to their concerns and reach a solution", according to the governor's spokesman, Tom Evenson.

Nass, Stroebel and Kapenga wrote a memo demanding amendments that would prohibit UW from spending $4 million on diversity training for students and faculty; raise the income eligibility for the statewide voucher program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level; repeal the state prevailing wage on January 1; and forbid municipalities to impose any wheel tax not approved through a referendum.

As the Senate's vote to pass the budget looms this Friday, current tensions within the Republican party renew fear that the budget will not pass on its first round.

The Senate convened momentarily Friday morning, then immediately recessed so GOP senators could meet privately.

Vos pushed back against the demands though, calling it a "ransom list" from lawmakers who couldn't get their way during budget negotiations. It increases spending for K-12 public schools by 5.9 percent, freezes tuition on University of Wisconsin campuses, raises fees on electric and hybrid auto drivers, and borrows $400 million more for road projects. It sends $639 million more to K-12 public schools and imposes a new fee on hybrid vehicles.

The UW System gets a $31.5 million funding boost, with the extra money tied to certain performance benchmarks, and the system's tuition freeze is maintained. The budget raises that to 220 percent of the poverty level.

Democratic senators offered amendments during Friday's debate to boost school spending further to offset funding cuts in past budgets, restore the alternative minimum tax and bar insurers in Wisconsin from denying health coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions.

Other reports by GizPress

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