Lawmakers react to Gov. Walkers proposed 2017-19 state budget

Walker's proposal includes $500 million in borrowing, which would be the state's lowest level of transportation bonding since the 2001-03 budget.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says lifting enrollment caps on private schools in the statewide voucher program is not dead even though Gov. Scott Walker didn't propose it in his budget.

Rep. Dave Murphy (R-Greenville) and Rep. Mike Rohrkaste (R-Neenah) attended Walker's stop in Greenville and said it's too soon to say whether his proposed budget would cover transportation priorities, or if a gas tax increase would be needed.

"Just in case any of you missed that, let me repeat it".

Vinehout says, "Let's wait to see the small print. Governors like to put the good news and headlines and the bad news in small print".

Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Superintendent Tony Evers is thrilled by that proposal.

The budget must be reviewed by both houses of the legislature and put into final form by June.

"A lot of the things I think we can get behind". I think we've done a good job with freezing tuition. "Perhaps we look for further tax cuts..."

But a number of other items on the Governor's wish list already appear to be dead on arrival in the legislature. Under a self-insurance system, the state would pay for benefits directly for about 250,000 state workers and family members instead of purchasing insurance from 17 HMOs.

While the governor and state lawmakers have frozen tuition for resident undergrads at University of Wisconsin System campuses since 2013 to help hold the line on student loan debt, the state hasn't raised need-based financial aid since 2010-'11.

Transportation is an area where Walker is taking heat from both Democrats and Republicans such as Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

"We're putting more money into public education than ever before, making college even more affordable, caring for the truly needy, building a stronger infrastructure, rewarding work, and cutting taxes to the lowest point in decades", say Walker, as he emphasized a almost $600 million reduction in taxes, along with hundreds of millions put back into public schools and the UW-System.

The budget comes after Walker previously cut funding for K-12 schools and UW, and froze tuition the past four years, while also giving them new ways to control costs.

Walker is proposing cutting the state's two lowest income-tax rates by a tenth of a percentage point - to 3.9 percent and 5.74 percent - and increasing the amount of income taxed at the second-lowest rate by about $30,000.


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