Fitz and Darling

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, left, and Joint Finance Committee co-chairwoman Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, center, plan to unveil Senate Republicans' plan for the state budget on Tuesday, which has been stalled for more than two weeks past its deadline. 


Republicans in the state Senate plan to unveil their own proposal for a state spending plan amid a budget impasse that has now lasted more than two weeks beyond the state deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, Joint Finance Committee co-chairwoman Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, and Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, will release the Senate Republicans’ 2017-19 spending plan Tuesday.

The proposal will include their recommendations for K-12 schools, taxes and transportation — spending areas not yet taken up by the Legislature’s budget-writing committee.

Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, blamed each other last week for the budget committee’s monthlong hiatus and for missing the July 1 deadline for a new state budget.

Fitzgerald said then he had a “fully (fleshed)-out” budget plan and if the two Republican caucuses continued to disagree, he would consider introducing it to the full Senate and send what they pass to the Assembly.

That’s not the route Fitzgerald plans to take immediately by releasing his caucus’ proposal, though, his spokeswoman Myranda Tanck said. Fitzgerald is introducing the proposal in an effort to resume budget discussions and the work of the budget committee, she said.

“We are hopeful that our proposal results in an agreement on major areas and that the Legislature can resume its work on the budget very soon,” Tanck said.

Vos said last week that though he was pushing for new revenue sources to pay for road projects and to shore up a nearly $1 billion gap in the transportation budget, he has accepted that Gov. Scott Walker and Fitzgerald are not on board.

But he said to get an agreement, Fitzgerald must then accept Vos’ position of keeping transportation spending flat instead of borrowing more for road projects, which would force delays of road projects planned and already underway.

Fitzgerald called that idea a “non-starter.”

On Monday, Vos said he wanted to resume budget work, too.

“Assembly Republicans have already put forward a plan on taxes, transportation and education,” Vos said in a statement. “I look forward to hearing the Senate’s ideas so we can continue our budget discussions.”


Molly Beck covers politics and state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.