Scott_Fitzgerald

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and fellow Republican lawmakers tout the state budget plan that cleared the Joint Finance Committee Thursday. 

With the state spending plan approved by the Wisconsin Legislature's budget committee, Republicans say the Assembly is planning to act on it first before sending it to the Senate — and then Gov. Tony Evers' desk. 

The Joint Finance Committee took its final votes on the document Thursday, when it approved an income tax cut proposal and other initiatives. 

The actions mean the budget's next stop is the Legislature, where GOP lawmakers have said they're looking to approve it before the end of this month. 

Specifically, Republicans in the state Assembly are eyeing June 25 as their day to vote on the biennial plan, setting up a possible Senate floor vote for later that week, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told reporters. 

Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, isn't ruling out making any amendments to the plan on the floor before meeting with fellow Republican senators Tuesday, June 18.

He added he hasn't heard complaints from his members about a single item the committee acted on, but rather discussions about "big targets." 

"We always arrive kind of at this position where you gotta have that back and forth with the individual legislators to see how we can get them comfortable to support the document," he said. 

Already, Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, has expressed skepticism over the plan, saying this week it's "becoming more difficult by the day to vote in favor of the budget." Meanwhile, Sen. Dave Craig, R-Big Bend, said after the committee passed the transportation motion the "level of spending in the budget is gravely concerning." 

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After it passes both houses, the budget would go to Evers, who could sign it, veto it outright or use his powerful partial veto pen to make changes to the language. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, Tuesday told reporters if Evers were to veto the budget, Legislature wouldn't reconvene until October to take votes to override it.

But in comments Thursday, Vos said he refused to accept that Evers would veto it. 

"I don't accept the fact that Gov. Evers, when he looks at the totality of the document, is going to say, 'I'm going to veto the entire thing, because I didn't get my way on one, two or three (things),'" he said. 

If the state doesn't pass a budget by the start of the new fiscal year, July 1, Wisconsin would continue operating on current funding levels. Former Gov. Scott Walker didn't sign the current state budget into law until the end of September in 2017. 

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