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Senate begins debating Walker’s budget bill

Republican Robin Vos, co-chair of the budget committee, voices his support of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget during Wednesday's state Assembly gathering in Madison. (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin Senate has begun debating a state budget bill that already passed in the Assembly by a party-line vote.

The Republican-led Senate began a session early Thursday afternoon that was expected to last through the evening.

Senate Democrats are expected to introduce a number of amendments, and Republicans are all but certain to table them all. That’s because the Senate and Assembly bills must pass in identical forms before heading to Walker for his consideration.

Republicans who control the Assembly said the $66 billion plan is a responsible approach to solving a $3 billion budget shortfall. They say it doesn’t raise taxes while still providing tax breaks for manufacturers, corporations and investors.

Democrats called it an assault on the middle class that will hurt education, the poor and health care services.

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