GOP Leaders Announce Roadmap for Passing State Budget; Assembly to Vote on Bill Next Week Repealing Prevailing Wage for Municipalities
GOP leaders from both houses announced at a press conference this morning that they had reached agreement on a transportation funding package and that the Joint Finance Committee will meet tomorrow to conclude its work on the state budget. The Assembly will then take up the budget next week. The Senate may act on the budget later next week, however, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said that he does not at this point have the votes in his caucus to pass the budget.
The leaders said that changes to the prevailing wage law and financing for the Bucks Arena will be taken up separately. The Assembly plans to vote on a prevailing wage bill next week. Under the agreement announced by legislative leaders, the Assembly will bring to the floor next week a bill introduced in that chamber to fully repeal the prevailing wage law. Assembly Republicans will then offer an amendment to the bill that reflects a package Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) has put together. It would repeal the prevailing wage statutes for local governments and federalize it for state work. The bill would then be sent to the Senate.
Not many details were discussed regarding the transportation package that JFC will vote on tomorrow. The transportation package includes $500 million in bonding with another $350 million the Joint Finance Committee can approve issuing as the Department of Transportation submits requests for work. This is a significant reduction from the $1.3 billion in borrowing Gov. Scott Walker proposed.
Speaker Vos said the reduction would be felt fairly evenly between out-state highway construction projects and the Zoo Interchange. Still, work on the core of the Zoo would not be impacted. Rather work on the north leg of the mega-project would be delayed. Vos also said the package will include a study looking at other revenue sources for transportation, including the possibility of tolling.
No mention was made about whether any cuts to local government programs are included in the transportation package. Those details won't be available until tomorrow. The Joint Finance Committee is meeting tomorrow is scheduled to begin at 10:00. In addition to the transportation package, the committee will also take up a final motion consisting of various items and changes to the budget sought by legislators and outside groups, known as the motion 999. We will report on the details of the transportation package and motion 999 tomorrow as soon as we learn them tomorrow.