Friday, July 7, 2017

Weakened Walker's budget inert in GOP-run Legislature

Right-wing GOP WI Gov. Scott Walker's power has eroded so significantly since his failed run for the Presidency that he cannot broker a deal in the GOP-controlled Legislature to get his own budget approved.

The Journal Sentinel puts it this way
Seeking to break an impasse on the state budget, Gov. Scott Walker has proposed reducing borrowing for transportation projects while sticking to his pledge not to raise gas taxes or vehicle fees.
The plan gained no immediate traction and his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature signaled they remain far apart on highway funding — the biggest reason for the budget stalemate.
On Thursday I noted that Walker was embracing federal spending to fill a transportation funding shortfall despite a long history of triumphantly turning aside federal dollars, but GOP Legislative leaders are not impressed with his change of heart.

This open challenge to Walker which began when his own party's Legislative leaders dumped the transportation portion of his proposed budget and started over on their own would not have happened prior to his Presidential flyer.

Walker's transportation budget dilemma has opened the door for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to send the road-building lobby the clear signal that he is their big-tax-and spend pal moving forward when Walker is out of the picture.

Meanwhile the state has missed its July 1 budget approval deadline. Programs will remain funded.

Aldo remaining; GOP dysfunction.

A further note of caution:

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said he believes further cuts within the transportation department are needed, and it's not clear if he wants reductions in staffing or programs, but I'd suggest people be ready for Fitzgerald to cut always vulnerable transit support provided to local systems which Republicans usually disdain.

Just a thought.

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