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Bill to buy down Wis. debt clears committee

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A proposal backed by Gov. Scott Walker to buy down some of Wisconsin’s debt has passed the Legislature’s budget committee.

Walker and Republican lawmakers want to tap some of the $636 million expected to come into the state through tax collections above earlier projections.

Democrats and supporters of public schools and other areas targeted for deep cuts in Walker’s budget want to instead use some of the money to lessen those reductions.

But Republicans say their priority is repaying a state medical malpractice fund that the Supreme Court said was illegally raided in 2007 to balance the budget then. That would take $235 million.

The bill passed Thursday by the Joint Finance Committee would also capture $23 million through an accounting move.

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