Y'know how it's always said that watching legislation get crafted is like waching sausage getting made?
With the state budget, we didn't even get to see how gross it really was. Everything was done in secret and in the end members of both houses of the legislature voted on a massive bill they hadn't read.
All in all, it's not a very good budget for those of us living in urban areas. It passed only because it was too late to do anything but vote for it.
The budget does not include a shared revenue increase, which is essential for cities. The budget is an absolute bonanza for road-builders, but again shortchanges transit (it provides more than Gov. Doyle proposed, but that's not saying very much at all). The piddling funding levels it provides for handicapped and disabled transportation bring shame to the state. Hey, guys and gals, oil just hit $92 a barrel and we're at war over the stuff. You might try re-thinking your philosophy some day.
The budget takes school aids away from poor districts and sends them to rich ones. It does not provide a solution to the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program funding mess, a state-imposed rip-off of Milwaukee homeowners that increases their property taxes for schools, but that does not provide the per-pupil student aid for private school students in the program that helps offset property taxes for other publicly-funded schools. It's a unique financial burden visited upon only the residents of Milwaukee.
The Legislature, which rejected the governor's proposal for the state to fund at least some of the Choice students, decided that giving $7 million to Milwaukee to offset the $54 million Choice tax was good enough for city taxpayers.
Judy Robson lost her job as Senate majority leader over this, and deservedly so. The Senate Dems played a long, painful game of "giveback" to the Republicans during budget negotiations that just hurt to watch. Despite repeated cave-ins, the Dems couldn't give enough away to satisfy the Republicans. It's just too bad Robson's colleagues couldn't do their gut-check before the citizens of the cities of the state of Wisconsin had this particular lead weight wrapped around their necks.