The Latest: Senate leader says there's 'no deal yet'
Jul. 20, 2017
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Wisconsin state budget negotiations (all times local):
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says there's "no deal yet" on the state budget.
Fitzgerald spoke to reporters Thursday after holding a conference call with other Republican senators. Earlier in the day Assembly Republicans said they had agreed with an offer from Gov. Scott Walker to use $200 million originally planned for an income tax cut to pay for roads.
But Fitzgerald says Senate Republicans are still "strong" on wanting to reduce or eliminate the personal property tax. Senators had wanted to use that $200 million for that.
Fitzgerald says he plans to speak with Walker about the budget Thursday night and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos after that.
The budget is three weeks late.
Gov. Scott Walker says he hopes Republicans who control the state Senate will accept his latest offer on road funding to end a three-week-old budget impasse.
Walker told reporters following an event in Sturtevant on Thursday that his offer is a reasonable compromise. Assembly Republicans have already said they accept it and see it as a "positive step" toward ending the budget standoff.
Walker is proposing taking $200 million he wanted to use for an income tax cut and instead apply it toward paying for roads.
Walker says under his plan that all-but eliminates state-backed borrowing for roads.
That appeases Assembly Republicans who objected to too much borrowing for roads. But Senate Republicans wanted to use the income tax money to eliminate the personal property tax which businesses pay.
A co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee says he wants the panel to resume its stalled work next week in light of Assembly Republicans agreeing to Gov. Scott Walker's offer on road funding.
Rep. John Nygren sent a letter to fellow Joint Finance Committee co-chair Sen. Alberta Darling on Thursday. Nygren says in the letter that he believes the road-funding deal "is a positive step and provides a path forward to responsible resolution of the state budget."
The state budget is three weeks late. Current funding continues during the impasse.
The Joint Finance Committee must complete its work on putting together the spending plan before the Senate and Assembly can vote on passing it.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is reviewing the latest offer designed to end a three-week state budget impasse.
Republican Assembly leaders on Thursday told Gov. Scott Walker they had accepted his offer to use $200 million originally intended to cut income taxes to instead help pay for roads. Assembly Republicans' chief objection to the budget was that it relied too much on borrowing to pay for roads.
But Assembly GOP leaders tell Walker they believe his offer to use income tax money for roads "has bridged the gap between our two houses."
Fitzgerald spokeswoman Myranda Tanck says only that the letter is being reviewed. Fitzgerald said earlier Thursday that he hadn't spoken with senators yet about the idea.
Wisconsin state Assembly Republican leaders say they have accepted Gov. Scott Walker's offer to use money to pay for roads that originally was to be spent on cutting income taxes.
The move announced Thursday could be a major breakthrough in ending a state budget stalemate over how to pay for roads. The budget is three weeks late.
Assembly Republicans have been steadfastly against borrowing to pay for roads, but in a letter to Walker delivered Thursday they say his new idea is a compromise they can support and "has bridged the gap between our two houses."
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said earlier Thursday that he had yet to discuss the idea with senators.
A Republican co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee says the Assembly could go along with a new proposal from Gov. Scott Walker that could end a three-week impasse on passing a state budget.
Rep. John Nygren tells The Associated Press on Thursday that Walker proposed using $200 million he intended for cutting income taxes to instead pay for roads. Nygren says that idea "could get traction in the Assembly."
Assembly Republicans have objected to borrowing as much as $712 million to pay for roads. Nygren says how much will need to be borrowed remains fluid.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald declined to comment on whether the latest idea would win approval in the Senate, saying it's one of several ideas being discussed.