Altoona (WQOW) – With the state budget only needing a signature from Governor Tony Evers, Republicans from the area were in Altoona Thursday highlighting areas they say the budget addresses.
Republicans say the budget prioritizes K-12 education, college and tech schools, healthcare, transportation and tax relief.
In the two-year spending plan is money to replace the Phillips Science Hall at UW-Eau Claire.
Chancellor James Schmidt said the building has outlived its useful life as maintenance has become too expensive.
“Thirty-four percent of all emergency work orders for academic buildings on our campus are for that building. It was designed during the Eisenhower administration. We’ve got that good Midwestern work-ethic where we can make-do, but it’s simply a matter of whether the systems operate or not,” Schmidt said.
On Wednesday, Republicans made revisions to the budget making it difficult for the governor to make minor alterations.
Republicans amended portions of the budget to replace words like “shall not” to “cannot”, preventing Governor Evers from crossing out individual words from the budget to reshape to his liking.
“Obviously it limits the striking,” said Representative Jesse James. “The governor can’t eliminate just part of the ‘cannot’ word, and the sentences still have to make sense. So, it puts a limited and creative approach to him going through the budget.”
Governor Evers still has the option to either veto the budget entirely or use line-item vetoes to change some things.
If he vetoes the budget entirely, spending would revert to the levels passed in the previous budget.
The Senate approved the budget 17-16 on Wednesday.
This story will be updated with additional information.