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The Latest: Republicans reject Evers’ capital budget

March 20, 2019

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

4:25 p.m.

Republicans on the Wisconsin Building Commission are refusing to endorse Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ plan for $2.5 billion worth of construction projects across the state.

The unprecedented move Wednesday speaks to challenge of divided government and moves the fight over capital building projects to the Legislature.

Republican opposition from Building Commission members killed Evers’ capital budget proposal and requires the Legislature’s Republican-controlled budget committee to start from scratch. Typically, the Building Commission makes a bipartisan recommendation based on the governor’s proposal and the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee goes along with the bulk of the request.

Republican legislative leaders sent Evers a letter calling his proposed $2 billion in borrowing “unrealistic and unsustainable.” They called on Evers to work with them on a more modest plan.

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3:23 p.m.

Republican lawmakers on the Wisconsin Building Commission are refusing to endorse Gov. Tony Evers’ plan for $2.5 billion worth of construction projects across the state.

Republicans on the panel during a Wednesday meeting said they were concerned about borrowing about $2 billion for the projects. They proposed forwarding the plan on to the Legislature’s budget committee without a recommendation, but it failed on a 4-4 party line vote.

Nearly half of the money Evers requested is for building projects across the University of Wisconsin System. Other projects include converting the state’s troubled youth prison into an adult facility, new housing for juvenile inmates and a new state office building in Milwaukee.

Evers says “disappointed is an understatement” to describe how he feels about the Republican opposition.