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State budget at a glance: No marijuana legalization; money coming for body cameras

By SCOTT BAUER
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin legislators were set Tuesday to begin taking the final votes on the 2021-23 state budget.

The Assembly was scheduled to vote on the $87 billion spending plan on Tuesday. The Senate was expected to follow suit on Wednesday and send the document to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who can use his partial veto powers to rewrite the document or kill it outright.

Here are some highlights of the budget as it currently stands:

BODY CAMERAS

Funding to pay for body cameras for Wisconsin State Patrol officers and Department of Natural Resources wardens is included, but funding was rejected to equip state Capitol police officers with them.

JUVENILE PRISONS

A state mental health center in Madison will be expanded to reduce the number of inmates at the state’s juvenile prisons, but Republicans did not include funding to build a new juvenile prison in Milwaukee County. Instead, only money for the planning process was included, which Democrats said would delay the closure of the troubled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile prisons north of Wausau.

 

WHAT’S OUT

Evers’ proposals to legalize recreational and medical marijuana, expand Medicaid and restore collective bargaining rights for public workers were among the first items killed by the legislative committee. Also removed in one vote striking out nearly 400 Evers proposals were $1 billion in higher taxes on manufacturers and capital gains; increasing the minimum wage to $10.15 per hour by 2024; suspending enrollment in the private school voucher program; and creating a so-called red flag law that would allow guns to be seized from people deemed to be a danger by courts.

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