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Gov. Walker opens budget listening sessions in Green Bay


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker held the first of his listening sessions Tuesday on what he should propose in the next state budget.

The Republican Walker told almost 40 employees at ACE Marine that his general priorities for the next two years are to cut taxes, create jobs, improve transportation, and boost education and workforce training.

Over a dozen people asked questions about things like prescription drug costs and employee apprenticeship programs. One asked what Walker would do to get opposing Democrats on his side – and Walker responded that his budget plans are things that both Republicans and Democrats alike could support.

But the Senate’s incoming minority leader, Milwaukee Democrat Chris Larson, questioned whether the state has enough of a budget surplus to pay for tax cuts. Larson said that if the deep school aid cuts from 2011 remain in place, then income tax cuts would be a quote, “non-starter.”

But if Senate Republicans vote as a bloc like they’ve done on most issues over the past two years, Larson and his fellow Democrats won’t have enough votes to stop them.

Larson also criticized the governor’s listening sessions, saying they’re not open to the general public.