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The Latest: Budget panel approves tech college increase

May 16, 2019

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin budget (all times local):

2:29 p.m.

Republicans on the Legislature’s budget-writing committee have approved more money for Wisconsin’s technical colleges, but fell $11 million short of how much Gov. Tony Evers and Democrats wanted.

The Joint Finance Committee is working Thursday on making changes to Evers’ budget before the full Republican-controlled Legislature votes on the two-year spending plan, likely sometime in June.

Democrats and Evers proposed increasing funding for technical colleges by $36 million. Instead, technical colleges will get $25 million more over two years under what Republicans approved Thursday.

Democrats say that isn’t enough. But Republicans point out it’s $7 million more than what Evers originally proposed. The governor on Wednesday doubled what he wanted to spend, tapping money from a newly announced $753 million surplus.


10:58 a.m.

Democratic lawmakers on the Legislature’s budget-writing committee say they are on board with Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal for an unexpected $753 million surplus.

News of the surplus came on Wednesday. It is largely attributed to a one-time influx of money due to federal tax law changes. Evers wants to use $33 million of it for technical colleges and workforce development, $56 million to pay down debt and then save the rest.

Democrats on the committee said Thursday that they support the Evers plan.

But Republican legislative leaders have said they want to use the money to support tax cuts. And Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he supports tapping it to pay for capital building projects and roads.