State Budget Negotiations at Impasse

Negotiations on the state budget are at a halt. After multiple meetings, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R – Juneau) remain at odds over how to fund state road projects. Vos and the Assembly Republican Caucus are open to increasing revenues. They believe doing so will promote long-term solvency for the transportation budget. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald and his caucus oppose increasing fees and taxes. Fitzgerald sides with Governor Scott Walker’s proposal for limited bonding for road projects.

The disagreement has spilled onto social media. On July 13, Senator Leah Vukmir (R – Brookfield) and Vos exchanged comments on Twitter. Vukmir tweeted, “Any viable transportation budget proposal must include a full repeal of prevailing wage…” Vos replied, “Agreed. And a way to pay for it that isn’t just running up our credit card…”

There appears to be no end in sight for the impasse. The legislature already missed the July 1 deadline to pass a budget in time for the new fiscal year. Without a new budget, state government continues to run based on funding levels of last fiscal year’s budget. While it is not a major problem right now, a lack of a new budget will create uncertainties for school districts as they begin budgeting for their school years.