Budget Battle to Move to Full Legislature

A state budget proposal is headed to the full legislature for debate.

Members of the Republican–controlled joint finance committee worked into the wee hours of the morning, before approving the spending plan 11–5 Friday.

It earmarks $458 million more for schools. That's less than half of what governor Jim Doyle asked for.

The budget proposal also cuts taxes on social security benefits, reduces the gas tax by a penny and puts limits on property tax increases.

On NBC-15 News at Five, we spoke with two area lawmakers, who are taking up the budget later this month.

"It's very similar to the governor's proposal;" says Democrat Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie. "It's about 80 percent the same. There are a couple of area that are of grave concern to me, one is education. There is a cut in education."

Republican Assemblyman Brett Davis of Oregon disagrees. "It's really not a cut when you look at it. A $458 million increase will go to K–12 public schools in the state of Wisconsin. That's two and a half times the increase they received in the last budget."

Governor Jim Doyle has said he's not happy with the Republican spending plan, especially when it comes to school funding.

He says he might veto part or all of the budget, to, in his words, "protect property taxpayers and education in the state."

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