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Senate passes state budget, headed to Walker

Associated Press

Clouds roll over a small protest rally at the state Capitol, as seen from a nearby condo building in Madison, on Thursday. The Senate passed the state's budget Thursday evening. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, M.P. King)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate has passed the $66 billion state budget, sending it to Gov. Scott Walker who promises swift action.

The Senate passed it Thursday night on a party line 19-14 vote.

Walker said in a statement that he will sign the bill before the end of the current fiscal year in 14 days. He said the budget passed by the Legislature “met and exceeded the goal of balancing the budget by cutting spending and not increasing taxes.”

Democrats didn’t have the votes to stop the budget, which they decried as an assault on the middle class because of deep cuts to public education and new tax breaks for businesses.

Republicans say it is a responsible plan to plug a $3 billion budget shortfall that prepares the state for economic growth.

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