Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday he expects to sign the state budget into law within a month now that he and legislative leaders have arrived at a deal "in principle."
The Legislature's budget-writing committee last met more than two months ago, putting its work on hold as the Republican-led Assembly and Senate struggled to reach agreement on key issues like transportation funding and taxes. The budget is now seven weeks overdue.
Work by the Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to resume on Thursday.
"The fact that they’re moving forward means, I think, in principle they’ve got it," Walker told reporters, adding there are still a few "little details" to work out.
Walker was adamant the budget will not include an increase in the state's gas tax or vehicle registration fees, but said lawmakers are still considering the possibility of charging a tax or fee on electric and hybrid vehicles.
The budget will also likely include a reduction, but not a full elimination, of the personal property tax, he said. The tax applies, in general, to furniture, equipment, machinery and watercraft owned by businesses.
The level of transportation bonding will also likely be reduced from the $500 million Walker originally proposed, he said.
The state's Republican leaders last appeared to have a deal about a month ago, when Assembly Republicans offered to support a proposal from Walker to put more money into roads in exchange for dropping his plan to cut income taxes by about $200 million. Senate Republicans rejected the offer, as some senators sought to use the funds from the proposed income tax cuts to eliminate the personal property tax.