MADISON, Wis. — The Latest on state budget negotiations (all times local):
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says he believes lawmakers are “fairly close” to reaching a budget deal.
Fitzgerald’s comments Friday on WTAQ-AM come even though he is criticizing the latest road-funding proposal from Gov. Scott Walker and the position of Assembly Republicans as “all sleight of hand.”
Fitzgerald says Assembly Republicans were giving an “illusion” of there being a budget deal. But he also says he doesn’t think the two sides are that far apart.
The biggest difference is over road funding.
Walker proposed using $200 million originally targeted to cut income taxes to instead nearly eliminate borrowing to pay for roads.
But Fitzgerald says he’s not sure the numbers add up.
Republican state Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke is calling on fellow Republicans in the Senate to take the latest budget offer floated this week by Gov. Scott Walker.
Steineke said Friday on WTAQ-AM that the deal Walker offered to divert $200 million from a proposed income tax cut to instead nearly eliminate additional borrowing to pay for roads is a “good deal.”
Steineke says, “I’m wondering why the Senate is taking so long to embrace this.”
Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald emerged from a conference call with GOP senators on Thursday saying there was no budget deal yet.
The budget is three weeks overdue. Current spending continues during the impasse, but if it drags into August the lack of a new budget could start to affect road projects.