League of Wisconsin Municipalities
  Capitol Buzz 
September 14, 2017
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Assembly Passes Budget without Changes; Senate Next    

Last night, the Assembly passed the Joint Finance Committee's version of the state budget, Assembly Substitute Amendment 1 to AB 64, after making a few technical corrections. The vote was 57-39.  

Senate leadership told the Senate to hold Friday as a possible day for taking up the budget, but at least three GOP Senators are not ready to vote yes on the bill until they see some changes.

According to the Wheeler Report, Senators Kapenga (Delafield), Nass (Whitewater), and Stroebel (Saukville) want the following changes made to the budget before they will vote yes:
  • Statewide Private School Choice Program Expanded Income Eligibility (Amend to 300% of FPL)
  • Prohibit UW System expenditures on mandatory diversity, sensitivity and cultural fluency training for all students, faculty and staff.
  • School Referendum Changes (Amend budget to include provision from the Senate GOP budget proposal.)
  • Revenue Limit for Adjustment of Energy Efficiency Measures.
  • AB-361 Requiring a local referendum to impose a wheel tax.
  • Fed-SWAP (Delete the Fed-Swap study language and include language to authorize Fed-SWAP to commence next fiscal year and then phased-in)
  • Move State Prevailing Wage repeal from September 1, 2018 to January 1, 2018.
  • Delete JFC Quarry Pre-emption.
  • Tighten Transportation Study Language from JFC.
I've highlighted the two items of particular interest to municipalities. We strongly oppose creating a wheel tax referendum requirement. We strongly support deleting the quarry preemption language that JFC added to the budget.

If the three Senators refuse to vote for the budget, it could stall passage in the Senate.  Sen. Craig (R-Big Bend) is also expected to vote no, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald can only lose three members from his 20-13 GOP majority and still pass the budget, presuming all of the Democrats vote no.

Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the media yesterday that the Assembly is not coming back to take up the budget after passing it last night. He was critical of the three Senators holding out for more changes before they would vote in support.
League Asks Governor to Veto Four Preemption Items in State Budget    

Yesterday, the League submitted a letter to Governor Walker asking him to veto the following four items that the JFC inserted into the state budget:

1. Prohibiting municipalities from using eminent domain for recreational trails.
2. Limiting the ability of local governments to regulate quarries .
3. Prohibiting municipalities from banning home rentals for 7 consecutive days or more. 
4. Prohibiting Milwaukee's downtown Business Improvement District (BID) from assessing the apartment component of mixed use buildings. 

Read the full veto request letter here.