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Wisconsin senator throws support behind budget

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- -

One of five Wisconsin state senators who refused to support the state budget has changed his mind, leaving the chamber four votes short of passage.

Assembly Republicans passed the budget on Wednesday, sending the spending plan on to the Senate. Republicans control that chamber 20-13 but need 17 votes to pass anything. Five GOP senators - Steve Nass, Duey Stroebel, Chris Kapenga, Robert Cowles and Dave Craig - have refused to support the document, leaving Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald in a quandary.

Cowles said Thursday morning that he opposed the budget because it includes too many policy items that should be considered as separate bills. But he said that over the last day he realized Republican leaders aren't going to take them out and he now plans to vote "yes."

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