Walker also said he was "cautiously optimistic" that a $500 million financing plan for a new Milwaukee Bucks stadium will find approval, while Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said most Senate Republicans want it to be debated separately from the budget, a move that would complicate its approval. But it would have to sail through the Joint Finance Committee and both houses once an agreement is reached. That is a key difference between Assembly Republicans who want cuts in road funding to be spread evenly throughout the state.
"I wouldn't rule it out", Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said of wrapping up the budget in just seven days.
Some outstate Republicans object to those two positions when combined, saying that together they guarantee a bad deal for other parts of the state.
If there is no budget by July 1, current funding levels would continue until the new deal is enacted.
"If we go a week or two in July, unlike the federal government we don't shut down", Walker said.
Walker had said for months he wouldn't announce his expected presidential campaign until after he signed the budget, but last week as the impasse continued Walker hedged on that timeline in advance of an expected announcement in mid-July.
"As you know, safe and reliable transportation infrastructure is critical for commerce and safety across Wisconsin", the Republicans, including three members of the budget committee, said in the letter.
The Republican-controlled Legislature appeared more firmly on course Monday to passing a state budget opposed by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, raising the likelihood of a veto and an extended stalemate.
Fitzgerald said he wasn't frustrated with the status of budget talks, and his goal remains to have all 19 Republicans vote for the $70 billion, two-year spending plan. That’s a fight over how to make $800 million in cuts to the state transportation budget - a fight that’s turned into a rural versus urban issue because it would protect the work on the $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee, but defer work on other projects around the state.
In a statement, Wolf's press secretary, Jeffrey Sheridan, said Reed's claims about using a privatization bill to fund education "should not be printed or even accepted as possible until the Republicans put out a full plan that addresses the deficit". Larson said he believes the Bucks arena deal won’t pass if it is taken out of the budget. That action historically includes ideas that have received tiny public airing previously, and are included to secure votes on the overall spending plan.