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Wisconsin budget gets $500 million boost

Wisconsin budget gets $500 million boost

Governor Scott Walker says the state's $500 million budget surplus should be tapped for additional public school aid, lowering income taxes and building the state's reserves.

Walker reacted Thursday to news that the state's budget is projected to have $500 million more than projected when Walker released his plan in February. Walker says the new estimates are ``good news for the people of Wisconsin.''

Walker joins with Republicans and Democrats in calling for using the money to increase funding for schools. Republican legislative leaders and Walker are all calling for deeper income tax cuts.

With Republicans in majority control, they will be in control of negotiating a deal with Walker's office in the coming weeks.

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Democratic legislative leaders say a $500 million budget surplus must go toward public schools.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported Thursday that the state's budget will end about $500 million better than originally estimated when Gov. Scott Walker released his two-year spending plan in February.

Democratic leaders Sen. Chris Larson and Rep. Peter Barca say the new money must go toward schools to help offset cuts they saw in the previous budget.

Barca says "there can be no more excuses for the Republicans' continued lack of funding for the education of our public school children and job training for our workers.''

Larson says using $500 million for school spending would be a "significant improvement'' over Walker's budget which froze school spending.

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Assembly Republican leaders say a $500 million boost in state revenue should be tapped to pay for an increase in public school spending.

The Republicans issued a press release on Thursday saying they would support a $100 per-student spending increase. Senate Republican leaders have called for as much as a $200 per-student increase.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a memo Thursday showing the new, more positive budget estimates. They roughly $500 million increase above earlier estimates will give lawmakers room to pay for additional spending and tax cuts.

Gov. Scott Walker has said in recent weeks that he also wants to increase funding for K-12 schools and broaden his tax cuts as originally proposed.

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Wisconsin's state budget just got a huge boost.

New revenue projections released Thursday show the state will collect more than half a billion dollars more than first expected, making it easier for the Legislature to direct more money to public schools and tax cuts as leaders have said they want to do.

The latest figures come from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald tells The Associated Press that projections are for more than $500 million more in tax revenues to be collected over the next two years.

Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Scott Walker have said in recent days that they want to increase funding for public education and make even greater tax cuts.

 

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