State Senate Passes Budget

The State Senate passed the $70 billion state budget on a 17 to 16 vote early this morning. Senate Democrats had prepared 55 amendments, but not all of them were offered and none of them passed. State Senator Rick Gudex of Fond du Lac says he’s especially happy that the Highway 151 Bypass improvement projects were included in the budget “because it will prove to be a catalyst for continued economic development in Northeastern Wisconsin.” The budget debate in the Senate raged for 12 hours; then the Senate took a break at about 10:15 last night and finally took a vote at 12:01 this morning. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau said there was more than enough time for debate. The 2-year budget increases funding to school choice and public schools, to medical assistance and cuts taxes by nearly $1 billion.