Capitol Chaos: Walker Budget Includes Huge Cuts
MADISON - The dust has settled Wednesday morning after staunch support and vehement anger following Governor Scott Walker's presentation of his plan to fix a $3.6 billion budget deficit.
It means huge cuts for cities and schools and could mean layoffs across the state.
"The facts are clear. Wisconsin is broke, and it's time to start paying our bills today," said the Governor.
Republicans stood and cheered while Democrats sat and listened to Governor Walker's budget speech on on Tuesday.
Walker says the budget doesn't raise taxes or impose public worker layoffs or furloughs, but there are many cuts.
Under the plan, Walker would reduce spending by $4.2 billion over two years.
State employees would contribute more to health care and pensions.
Counties and municipalities would lose $96 million to pay for local services.
Walker wants to cut $834 million in state money to local schools.
These cuts would be offset by collective bargaining concessions in his budget repair bill.
The budget would also include $225 million to reconstruct the zoo interchange and $195 million to continue construction on the I-94 corridor.
"The time has come for us to make the tough choices necessary to put our state back on the path to prosperity," said Walker.
"What's it going to mean?" asked Green Bay Democratic Senator Dave Hansen.
"Fewer teachers? Fewer programs? What about arts programs? Music? Athletics? Does he care about that? Public education has been a bulwark of Wisconsin. He's backing off that commitment."
Walker still needs one Democratic state senator to come back to Wisconsin and vote to get his budget repair bill passed.
He again called for the "Wisconsin 14" to return to Wisconsin and vote on the bill.