Senate Republicans have rejected two amendments from Democrats so far as debate on the biennial budget continues.
JFC Co-chair Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, kicked off the debate by saying it was “one of the best budgets” she’s worked on, ticking off a range of provisions that include: the $639 million funding boost for K-12, a performance funding system for the UW System, an increase in reimbursement rates for personal care workers and finding savings within the Department of Transportation.
She also highlighted Republicans’ reduction in property taxes, including the elimination of some categories of the personal property tax levied on businesses.
“This is a good budget,” she said.
But Democrats blasted the GOP budget as one that would hurt working families. Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha, called it a “triumph of right-wing ideology over common sense.”
The amendments that Dems prepared include: letting Wisconsinites refinance student loans through a new state authority, accepting the Medicaid expansion, boosting funding for broadband expansion grants and putting more money toward K-12.
Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, said Republicans approved a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn while underfunding rural schools, calling it an “extremely sad and horribly unbalanced representation of Wisconsin values.”
“We shouldn’t pay Foxconn first and our kids later,” she said. “This is not fair. I am not proud of this budget.”