Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6-20-13 assembly approves budget

 The state Assembly has passed the state budget on a 55-42 vote.  The vote came abruptly on
Wednesday after Democrats surprisingly decided against offering any amendments. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says Republicans were clear no changes would be made, so Democrats instead were going to take their opposition directly to the public.  The $70 billion budget would cut income taxes by $650 million, expand private school vouchers statewide and reject a federally funded expansion of Medicaid.  Barca says the budget will hurt the middle class and does not reflect the values of most Wisconsin residents.  "I think the people of Wisconsin need to understand what's at stake here. This is the most extreme anti-middle class budget we've seen in a generation,"  Barca told AM 1170 WFDL's Between the Lines program.  "They (Republicans) are going to take hard earned tax money and give ten times the tax relief to people making over $300,000 than the average citizen."  Republicans defended it as good for the economy and the state.  Fond du Lac state representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt voted in favor.  "I think this is a really positive step for the state of Wisconsin,"  Thiesfeldt told WFDL news.  "You're looking at a budget that is going to reduce statewide positions, we're reducing the structural deficit from the budget the governor sent us, we are getting an income tax cut for virtually every member of the state, making the tax code flatter and fairer."     The budget now heads to the Senate for debate Thursday.

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