Passing the next biennium budget continues to be a focus of state leaders in Madison. Although the budget deadline has come and passed, those involved are not necessarily concerned.
“The reason we’re not as pressed as a lot of other states is we have a budget that continues,” explained State Representative Gary Tauchen. “We call it the base budget, so it continues from last session, at the same level as last session, so if we don’t get a budget done on time the government does not shut down in the state of Wisconsin, which is a good thing.”
Tauchen adds that taking more time also gives the state legislature a chance to get the budget correct, or at least how they want it improved.
He cites his confidence for the budget talks is based on the previous three budgets passed under Governor Scott Walker, which Tauchen argues have turned the tide for Wisconsin’s economy.
“It’s given real tax relief to the citizens of the state,” he told the WTCH Breakfast Club. “We’ve invested in growth and infrastructure and I think funded state government at a reasonable level, so I think all of us I think want what’s best for the state of Wisconsin and the people that live here.”
Transportation continues to be a main sticking point in budget talks and the main reason budget talks have stalled.
Tauchen explains that the state senate didn’t want break transportation out to do independently, meanwhile as part of the state assembly, they didn’t want to ensure they cut bonding, so that they didn’t have to pay that back in the future.
“The governor came up with a proposal that was acceptable to both sides, from what I understand,” Tauchen said. “I would expect that the Joint Finance Committee is going to be meeting either this week or next week again. They still have a lot of work to do. I think they’ve worked out most of the details on the many areas they still have left.”
Governor Walker’s proposal decreases bonding by $100 million, the lowest transportation bonding since the 2001-2003 session.
Tauchen believes with the progress they’ve made recently, the budget will be signed within the next month.