After over 10 hours of debate and a two hour delay due to a bomb threat, the State Assembly voted early July 10 to pass the 2015-’17 state budget.
State Reps. Ed Brooks (R-Reedsburg) and Lee Nerison (R-Westby) both cast no votes.
“This budget changed a lot over the last five months, and it became much better through the legislative process,” said Brooks, whose district includes Greenwood township. “However, without a long term solution to transportation and without a stronger focus on public education, this budget could not earn my support.”
Nerison also voted against the budget because it did not include enough backing for rural roads.
“I am concerned that this vital economy will quickly erode if we don’t take care of our rural roads so we can get our goods to market,” he said. “Rural areas need good roads just as much as Milwaukee does, and I’ll keep fighting to get our fair share.”
The budget, which passed by a vote of 52-46 with no support from Democrats, differed greatly from the one that Gov. Scott Walker introduced in February. Gone were Walker’s proposed changes to SeniorCare, Wisconsin’s Long Term Care programs, and the DNR and DATCP Boards. Also reversed was a proposed cut to K-12 education, with which many in the legislature disagreed.
Walker signed the $73 billion budget July 12, one day before announcing his run for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.