‘Missed Opportunities’ vs. ‘Within our Means’: Wisconsin Assembly sends budget to Senate

The Wisconsin Assembly has voted to approve the state’s two-year funding plan over complete opposition from Democrats, sending the budget to the Senate where it’s expected to be taken up Wednesday.

The $81 billion biennial plan, which passed on a 60-39 vote, includes $1.9 billion for building projects, a nearly $500 million increase in K-12 education, a more than $300 million middle-income tax cut and boosts in vehicle title fees and car registration costs.

But the document doesn’t feature many of Gov. Tony Evers’ key priorities, including accepting the federal Medicaid expansion, providing $1.4 billion more in education funding and raising the gas tax for the first time in more than a decade. His $83.4 billion budget also sought to raise taxes by more than $1 billion, which Republicans nixed from the plan.

Democrats, who floated a series of amendments to the budget that were all rejected, slammed the document as series of “missed opportunities” that falls short in aiding Wisconsinites and argued it didn’t represent the will of the people.

But Republicans, including budget committee Co-chair John Nygren, R-Marinette, touted the plan’s investments in education and other areas, as well as GOP efforts to “hold the line” on property taxes and reject unsustainable spending levels, as they urged Evers to sign it into law.