Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday backed at least some budget changes to win over conservative holdouts in the state Senate and pass the state’s already delayed spending plan.
“I’m still confident we’ll have a budget by the end of the summer that will … balance the interests of investing more dollars in K-12 education than ever before and lowering property taxes,” Walker told reporters in a conference call from a trade mission to South Korea.
But at least four conservatives in the state Senate are holding up a budget vote in part because of their concerns about spending increases in the bill for priorities like education.
To get the budget back on track, Walker endorsed the idea of agreeing to at least some other conservative demands, such as moving up the repeal date of a minimum wage for workers on state infrastructure projects.
A $3 billion state incentive package for electronics maker Foxconn, the largest ever of its kind, moved much closer to becoming reality Tuesday by passing the state Senate.
The bill passed on a 20-13 vote with two senators breaking party lines. Republican Sen. Rob Cowles of Allouez voted “no,” while Democrat Bob Wirch of Kenosha, near where Foxconn may locate, voted “yes.”
Senate Republicans had moved more cautiously than their Assembly counterparts on the Foxconn measure. Its passage returns the bill to the Assembly for what likely will be a swift approval on Thursday.
The bill then would head to its champion, Gov. Scott Walker, for a signature.
Political activist Mike McCabe is the latest candidate to join the Democratic primary field for governor, with a campaign announcement planned in central Wisconsin on Tuesday.
The former head of the campaign finance watchdog Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, McCabe founded the nonprofit group Blue Jean Nation in 2015 with the goal of restructuring the priorities of the country’s political parties.
“Wisconsin is up to its eyeballs in problems. Same goes for our country as a whole. The problems grow out of political and economic inequality. Our society has been made more and more elitist, both politically and economically. It has been divided into royals and commoners,” McCabe said in a statement. “I am running for one reason and one reason only — to re-establish the ideal that our government should work as well for the commoners as it does for the royals.”
McCabe, 56, said in May he was “willing” to run after a group of 190 people published a letter encouraging him to do it.