Assembly Passes Budget

By: NBC 15
By: NBC 15

The Republican version of the state budget is on its way to the state senate. The Assembly passed it after spending 18 hours at the Capitol.

The plan calls for about $400 thousand less in spending than Gov. Jim Doyle's version. The biggest difference between the two plans is how much each side wants for schools.

Under the Assembly's budget schools would get more than $450 million extra, but would be limited in the amount they could raise through property taxes. The governor wanted to give the schools an additional $938 million over the next two years. As is, the budget includes a G.O.P. plan to limit increases in local property taxes only to cases of new construction.

Also in the Republican budget, state tax on Social Security benefits would be phased out over the next three years and hunting and fishing licenses would cost more.

Lawmakers also rejected Doyle's plan to give domestic partner benefits to U.W. System employees, and his proposal to tax Internet downloads.

Assembly Speaker John Guard is happy with the outcome and looks forward to the state senate approving the proposed budget. "I have absolute confidence that Republicans in the senate are prepared to lead this state, and not turn the keys over to somebody else."

Gov. Doyle issued a statement expressing disappointment with the budget Thursday. He says he will use his veto powers to fully fund education and freeze property taxes.

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