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Wisconsin Senate passes state budget

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The Wisconsin Senate has passed the state budget 11 weeks after it was due, sending the $76 billion spending plan to Gov. Scott Walker for his signature.

The Senate voted 19-14 to pass the budget Friday after reaching a last-minute deal with reluctant Republicans.

All Republicans except Sen. David Craig, of the Town of Vernon, voted in favor while all Democrats were against.

Walker reached a deal with three other holdout Republicans to win their support for the deal. Sen. Chris Kapenga says Walker promised to address their concerns with his vetoes of the spending plan, which could come as soon as next week.

Republican state Sen. Chris Kapenga says a deal he and two others made with Gov. Scott Walker to vote for the state budget included promises of vetoes to make changes to the $76 billion spending plan.

Kapenga says details of the deal will come after the Senate passes the budget Friday night. But he says the vetoes largely center around a list of nine changes he and Sens. Duey Stroebel and Steve Nass released on Wednesday that they wanted.

Those included speeding up repeal of the state prevailing wage and removing a provision that took away local control over rock quarries.

Kapenga says he spoke by phone with Walker to reach the deal. Walker is in South Korea on a trade mission.

With their support, the budget should vote with 19 votes. It needs 17.

Three Senate Republicans who have been unwilling to vote for the GOP-written Wisconsin budget are meeting with Gov. Scott Walker's staff to try and reach a deal.

Senate Republicans met privately briefly Friday morning before breaking so the three who have pledged to vote against the plan could meet with Walker's staff. Walker has the power to veto items in the budget that could win over one or more of the senators who currently are holding up passage.

Republicans need 17 votes to pass the budget but they have only 16. They were scheduled to vote on it Friday, but delayed the start of debate for at least two hours as talks continued in private.

Walker spokesman Tom Evenson confirmed the meeting was taking place. Walker is in South Korea on a trade mission.

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Wisconsin budget is headed for a climactic vote in the state Senate.

But it remains unclear whether Republicans who are in the majority can cobble together enough support to pass the two months-late spending plan as hoped Friday.

Republicans need 17 votes out of their 20 senators to approve the $76 billion budget that was due on July 1 but that has been hung up among GOP in-fighting. Current spending continues during the impasse as Republicans and Gov. Scott Walker work behind the scenes to forge a compromise.

The Assembly passed the budget late Wednesday night.

It must pass the Senate in identical form before it goes to Walker for his signature.

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