Wisconsin lawmakers react to budget signing
Posted September 25
Milwaukee, WI — Gov. Scott Walker made the state budget official on Thursday, and he said education is a big winner in the plan.
"There's actually more money invested in schools than ever before," Walker said. "More actual dollars. $11.5 billion invested in K-12 Education in this budget."
The budget was nearly three months late. It increases education funding by more that $630 million and lowers property taxes.
Democrats say borrowing money for roads and delaying construction is a big problem.
"The governor still seems to be trying to market himself to more of a national audience," said Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh. "Not a Wisconsin audience. And I think his inability to address transportation is because he wants to pander to anti tax national interest groups in hopes that he can some day run for president."
Walker used his veto power 99 times, including to remove a plan to give lawmakers more authority over his spending and a plan that would give low revenue schools the ability to raise property taxes.
"It's disappointing that the governor would veto an additional $90 million that would help low-spending districts like Oshkosh and Green Bay," Hintz said.
Republicans say the biggest takeaway from the budget is increasing education funding while keeping the budget balanced.
"I think a lot of people thought that couldn't happen, but we were able to do it, and I think do it in a responsible way," Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said. "To balance those two things in one budget is pretty amazing."
The legislature could theoretically override Walker's vetoes, but Fitzgerald said he has no interest in doing so.
The budget director says it will go into effect on Saturday.