Lack of New Wisconsin Budget Causing Problems for Schools
MADISON, Wis. – The state budget is now two weeks overdue, mainly because the Republican leadership can't seem to come to terms with its membership and the governor about how to fund the transportation part of the budget.
State law says the new two-year budget should have been passed by July 1. And the delay is causing problems for local school districts in the state, according to state Sen. Chris Larson, a Milwaukee Democrat.
"Right now, local communities and school districts are stuck, waiting to find out how much state aid they'll be allowed to receive and what might be cut so they can balance their own budgets,” Larson explains. “In particular, it's difficult for each of our local schools to forecast their budget for the upcoming school year, which will determine how many teachers they can afford to keep on next year."
Republican leaders say they have a fully-completed budget document, and the state Senate is in agreement on it. But Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau says the state Assembly still is searching for what its next move is.
The main issue regarding the transportation budget is that Gov. Scott Walker has threatened to veto the entire state budget if there are any increased taxes or fees as part of the transportation budget.
Larson says the problem is that the Republicans can't find a way to make all the special interests happy.
"The biggest topic is how much more transportation debt to pile on as they kick the can down our crumbling, pothole-covered roads,” he states. “Our neighbors deserve to have a budget that works for them, not one that just caters to the big-money, special-interest groups that have stacked the deck in their favor."
Deliberations will continue on the $76 billion budget document, which represents the highest level of spending in state history.