Senate Budget Passed

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The state Senate has passed a preliminary version of a budget.

The Senate roll call just after five o'clock Friday morning saw a different version of the Assembly budget narrowly pass, despite a 19-14 Republican majority.

Over the next biennium, Eau Claire Senator Ron Brown says the state budget will borrow less, reduce the deficit, and will spend less than the governor's plan. It also gives an additional $458 million to fund education.

"The question again is not how much do we want to give to education, but how many dollars do we have available to give," Sen. Ron Brown. "We gave all that we felt we could give and still take care of other important programs."

But a representative from the state's largest teachers union says, like the Assembly budget, the Senate version doesn't go far enough.

"We have a number of struggling districts we had one district just this week who voted to dissolve because they can't afford to stay in business," says Mary Bell, the secretary treasurer of WEAC. "What happens to the children in those districts affects all of us."

The changes to the budget need to be approved by the Assembly before the final version goes to the governor's desk.