Walker on state budget: 'We're a lot closer than we think'Submitted: 07/18/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director

Walker on state budget: 'We're a lot closer than we think'
SCHOFIELD - You might feel like sending Wisconsin lawmakers a message: "Your account is seriously past due." It's been more than two weeks since the unofficial deadline to pass the next two-year budget went by.

Lawmakers can't seem to agree on two key issues: transportation and school funding.  The state faces about a $1 billion shortfall in transportation funding.

Gov. Walker wants to keep borrowing down, but he also doesn't want to raise the gas tax or registration fees.

"I think we're a lot closer than we think," Walker said during a bill-signing stop in the Wausau area Monday. 

"We've even been talking on the plane a little bit about it. I meet every week, I'll meet again with the Speaker [Robin Vos] and the Majority Leader [Scott Fitzgerald]. I talked to both of them over the weekend about some ideas. We've got a few things we think in the next few days might be the next step forward."

Walker says that when he was Milwaukee County executive, he didn't set the budget until November. But that budget typically isn't due until fall anyway. A Milwaukee County report for 2017 noted the county executive's budget recommendations are due Oct. 1.

Walker noted that, unlike the federal government, state services like parks and schools continue "as is" until a new budget is passed.

Joint Finance Committee Co-Chair John Nygren (R-Marinette) called June 30 an "artificial deadline."

"I don't hear from any taxpayers, any constituents that say, 'I want the budget done fast.' They want it done right, and so taking some time, taking a few extra weeks to get something done right for our constituents, that's a good process," Nygren said.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 11/20/2017

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The man charged with shooting and killing his friend of four and a half years in Tomahawk Friday morning had his initial appearance today. We'll bring you details of the criminal complaint.

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We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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Many Northwoods hunters have already filled their tags and are ready to process their deer meat.

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ST. GERMAIN - After your big Thanksgiving meal later this week, you might be looking for a way to get active.

St. Germain will be hosting its holiday light parade and Jingle Bell 3K Race this Saturday.

People will pull out their lawn chairs and wool blankets to watch floats take over downtown.

The St. Germain A-T-V club will also be collecting food along the parade route for the Vilas County Food Pantry.

"St. Germain has always had the tradition of the town tree lighting and caroling and stuff like that. We just amped it up and taken it one step further. It is really neat to be a part of and kick off the Christmas season," says special events coordinator Judy Jurries.

You can still register for the Jingle Bell 3K Race.

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Trinity Lutheran Church in Merrill sells Christmas trees and wreaths in the lot next to the Trinity Lutheran School.

Tree lot organizer Dan Frick says he has been selling trees there for a decade.

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The commission voted unanimously Monday for the authority to seek hiring three additional staff, with two focused on security issues.

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MINOCQUA - Cities and towns in Wisconsin only get so many liquor licenses for restaurants and bars.
All 30 of Minocqua's are currently filled and have been for quite a few years. 

Town Clerk Roben Haggart says Minocqua has had to turn away potential businesses because of the lack of Class B liquor licenses. 

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WISCONSIN - Around 9:12 a.m. on Saturday emergency responders assisted a 49-year-old Crandon man who accidentally shot himself while hunting in Armstrong Creek, according to DNR Safety Specialist Warden Mark Little.

Little said the man saw a deer while sitting in his truck. He went to grab his rifle, and as he was manipulating the gun it went off. A bullet went through the man's upper right leg and lower left leg, exiting out the driver-side door.

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