Key senator is a 'yes' vote on budget

Published: Jun. 26, 2019 at 8:48 AM CDT
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The Wisconsin senator who holds the key vote on the state budget says he will vote for the spending plan, clearing the way for passage.

The Senate is scheduled to take the final votes on the budget Wednesday. Approval would send the budget on to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.

Republicans hold a 19-14 advantage in the Senate but a group of fiscal hawks in the GOP caucus don't support the budget. Sen. Chris Kapenga said Tuesday he's not sure if he'll vote for the spending plan. If Republicans lose Kapenga they'd fall one vote short of passage.

Republicans inserted language in the budget Tuesday to appease Kapenga. The provisions would allow electric car manufacturer Tesla to open dealerships in Wisconsin. Kapenga owns a business that sells Tesla parts and salvaged electric vehicles.

Kapenga said at a news conference minutes before the Senate was set to convene that he has decided to vote for the budget. He stressed that he rebuilds Teslas as a hobby and sells the leftover parts. He says his endeavors don't yield any profits.

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