Wisconsin Senate takes up budget - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Senate takes up budget

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MADISON (WAOW) -- The Wisconsin State Senate took up the budget early Thursday afternoon after the Assembly passed it on a party-line vote.

Debate on the $66 billion budget is expected to last through the evening. Republicans say the two-year plan would balance a $3 billion shortfall without raising taxes, but it also includes major cuts to public education. Democrats say the budget is an attack on the middle class.

The budget debate has sparked heated protests at the Capitol. Two people were taken into custody after chaining themselves to railings in the Senate chamber with bike locks. Protestors shouted "kill the bill" after the Senate came to order Thursday morning. Capitol police identified the two as a 20-year-old Beaver Dam man and a 23-year-old Elroy woman. Police say six others were also arrested on disorderly conduct charges.

Meantime, Wisconsin officials plan to start easing security at the Capitol. Ground floor entrances will open, and security crews will stop screening with metal detectors. The changes go into effect June 27.

Online Reporter: Daniel Woodruff

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