With Budget, Bucks Arena And Abortion On The Agenda, Lawmakers Face Busy Week

Informational Hearing On Bucks Arena Deal Slated For Monday

Jerome G1111 (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Republican state lawmakers are cramming several controversial issues onto their schedules this week, including the state budget, a plan to finance a Milwaukee Bucks arena and a 20-week abortion ban.

Lawmakers will begin the week with an informational hearing Monday on the Bucks deal, in which the public won’t be allowed to testify. There’s no firm timeline for a final vote on the deal, but Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he hopes to pass it this week.

Republicans also hope to pass the budget this week. The bill cleared the Joint Finance Committee last week after Republicans added sweeping restrictions to Wisconsin’s open records laws. However, after a public uproar, Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Scott Walker have since said they intend to remove those provisions in their entirety.

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Other Republicans say they won’t vote for the budget unless it includes a partial repeal of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law. That issue is currently not addressed in the budget, with GOP leaders planning on taking it up separately.

On top of all that, the state Assembly will likely pass a 20-week abortion ban. The flurry of votes comes a week before Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to announce he’s running for president.