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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, June 14, 2024

Senate passes budget repair bill, process unlikely to end soon

The Democrat-controlled state Senate passed its version of the budget repair bill Tuesday to fix a $428 million shortfall, though few compromises have been made with the Assembly. 


The bill passed 18 to 14 along party lines, with one senator absent.  


State Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, said the bill is a compromise of the earlier versions of the bill. 


Senate Democrats are not interested in a repeat of last year's drawn out conference committee process,"" Miller said, referring to the budget process which lasted over 100 days late last fall. 


A major portion of the Senate version is an increased tax on hospital revenues, with Democrats previously stating it will force the federal government to pay Wisconsin over $400 million. 


The Wisconsin Hospital Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business lobbyist, favor the hospital assessment. 


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Carrie Lynch, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker, D-Weston, said WMC's support ""helps tremendously"" in gaining Republican approval. 


WMC often favors conservative legislation, but Jim Bender, spokesperson for Assembly Majority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, said its support for the hospital proposal has not shifted Republicans' opposition. 


The repair bill was sent back to the Assembly after the Senate passed it, with Senate Democrats not calling a conference committee, though Lynch said one was likely needed.

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