The State of the State Budget

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A Wisconsin Supreme Court's decision last week ruled Governor Doyle's gaming compacts with the Potowanami and other similar arrangements with other casinos unconstitutional.

The court decision is keeping up to $200 million from the state budget. If the compacts remain void, it could reduce the amount of revenue shared with cities, which would mean programs would see cuts and property taxes could go up.

The tribes, like Governor Doyle, are appealing the ruling to federal court. "They're going to hold up payment until they see how the court cases come out," says Assemblyman Larry Balow. "The problem is, is that this could take years and the state of Wisconsin doesn't have years."

Senator Ron Brown says the compacts were Doyle's work and it should be his responsibility to get started on new negotiations. "This is a governor's budget; it was a governor's error that led to this situation. My assumption is that as a good governor, he will make a proposal to the legislature about how he intends to fix this problem," says Senator Ron Brown.

The Assembly will hear a proposal tomorrow in extraordinary session from republican lawmakers to give the Legislature final say over gaming compacts the governor signs.