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Minority Democrats seek GOP defectors ahead of budget debate

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Minority Democrats asked moderate Republicans Monday to march with them instead of the GOP leadership, in voting on the proposed state budget for the next two years.

One of the most conservative Assembly members, Republican Steve Nass of Whitewater, said Monday he would vote against the budget when it comes up in his house Tuesday.

Nass said he opposed spending that would create a $505 million deficit in the next budget – the return of bail bondsmen – plus what he called a flawed voucher expansion program. Nass said the income limits for getting private school vouchers was too low.

State public school superintendent Tony Evers joined Democrats Monday in meeting with education supporters in Madison, Green Bay, Wausau, and the La Crosse area.

Among other things, they want the school choice expansion scrapped, and use the money for more public school aid. Democrats want to expand school aid by $275 a student – much higher than the $100 increase Republicans offer for this year, and $150 the next.

Democrats need 10 more Republican defectors besides Nass to get what they want in the Assembly.

It’s more likely they’ll win something in the Senate, where the GOP holds a slim three vote majority.