WI lawmakers debate budget ahead of tonight's Assembly vote

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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WMTV) -- Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is reviewing last-minute changes to the state budget proposal being debated by the Republican-controlled Assembly.

Republicans are urging the Democratic Evers to sign the budget, which made several significant changes to what Evers had proposed. Democrats in the Assembly said Tuesday the budget doesn't do enough to address issues facing the state like health care access, road funding and education.

But the Republican budget does increase funding for health care programs, K-12 schools and the University of Wisconsin and roads. But the funding does not go up as much as Evers proposed.

Evers' spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff says the governor is reviewing a Republican amendment that makes last-minute changes to the budget. But she isn't saying whether Evers plans to sign the plan with some vetoes or strike down the whole thing.

Speaker Robin Vos addressed the proposed amendment at a press conference before the session started Tuesday.

He said part of the reason for the change was to prevent Gov. Evers from changing the spending plan, by making it harder to veto portions of the budget.

"What the amendment by in large does is it tries to veto-proof as much as we are able- the ability for Gov. Evers to use his creative veto to go around the intent of the legislature," Vos said.

The governor has the power to line-item veto, which means they can veto specific portions of the budget. Some Democrats detailed the budget "falls short" and does not address key issues they they said lay the foundation for the budget.

"If they are not willing to move on something like Medicaid expansion it is really difficult to support this budget," said Democratic State Rep. Gordon Hintz.

The amendment would also include slightly reducing a property tax increase, give towns $5 million more for roads, increase salaries for prosecutors and hire more across the state.