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Walker to tour state touting budget benefits

UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Governor Scott Walker will begin a tour of Wisconsin today, to promote the new state budget he signed into law yesterday. At a ceremony in Pleasant Prairie, the Republican Walker said the two-year, $70-billion package is quote, “a sharp contrast from where we were two years ago.” Walker said structural reforms and tough prudent decisions led to quote, “a great investment in the people of Wisconsin.”

He’s expected to sound those same themes during visits to Green Bay, Chippewa Falls, and La Crosse as the budget takes effect today. It reduces income taxes by over $650-million, raises local property taxes by one-percent a year, expands private school choice statewide, and freezes U-W tuition for two years. It also forces certain arrested felons to give their D-N-A to law enforcement before they’re convicted – and it forces Badger-Care recipients above the poverty line to enter the state’s Obama-care health exchange.

Walker vetoed 57 items, including the return of bail bondsmen – and preventing any U-W involvement in the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

The vetoes did nothing to reduce Democratic criticism of the budget. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said the budget fails the middle class. He says it will make it harder for those people to pay property taxes, send their kids to school, and count on basic state services.