WISCREPORT.COM (10/15/07) - The Wisconsin State Senate has passed a budget compromise. After voting for the compromise budget, Senator Russ Decker (D-Weston) urged his colleagues in the State Assembly to meet the Senate in the middle and pass the bill soon. The budget passed by the Senate is the result of months of give and take from both sides. He says he hopes Assembly Republicans will put the rhetoric aside and pass the budget.
“This budget is the result of months of give and take from both sides and I hope the Assembly Republicans will put the rhetoric aside and pass this bill. It includes the education funding that everyone has agreed to, important state funding to hold down property taxes and much-needed funding for health care programs,” said Decker.
“Too many members of the Assembly have been saying it’s ok if we don’t pass a new state budget. They are the only ones in the state that believe that. The public wants the funding for GPS monitoring of sex offenders. They want veterans programs fully funded, and they want the SeniorCare program to continue,” said Decker. “These things only happen if we pass a new state budget.”
The Senate also passed a transportation bill. It includes an oil franchise fee to be paid by oil companies doing business in Wisconsin. It would be illegal for the companies to pass the fee onto consumers.
“The transportation bill is a jobs bill funded by Big Oil finally paying their fair share into our state transportation system. The oil companies have been going after Wisconsin consumers for years at the pump and it’s time to go after them,” said Decker.
Decker noted that the compromise budget bill contains numerous local projects that are important to Central Wisconsin. The bill contains a $2 million loan to preserve 350 jobs and $5 million for a biomass fuel boiler for Flambeau Papers in Park Falls. It also contains a $194,000 grant to Northcentral Technical College (NTC) to start a two-year Associate Degree in Dairy Science.
“Both of these programs will help make sure Central Wisconsin’s economy continues to move forward. Flambeau Papers is an important employer for our area and the biomass boiler will help hold down their energy costs by freeing the plant from using natural gas for power. It’s a win for the environment and for our local economy,” said Decker.
“The Northcentral Technical College program will create a modernized dairy degree for new students and help current farmers expand or modernize their farm,” said Decker.