Wisconsin Budget Passed

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Governor Doyle and legislative leaders say they've reached a budget agreement after a nearly four-month impasse -- the longest in the nation.

The budget will raise cigarette taxes by $1 per pack but it doesn't include proposed taxes on hospitals and oil companies.

The deal also includes plans to make all children and thousands more low-income adults eligible for state-subsidized health insurance and to spend $30 million in smoking prevention programs.

Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch and Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson say they expect the deal to pass in their chambers on Tuesday. Doyle says he will then use his veto pen only to make few changes.

Republicans and Democrats are both claiming victory.

Democrats say the plan delivers on priorities such as funding for the University of Wisconsin System and public schools. Huebsch says it holds down taxes and spending to levels closer to what Republicans were seeking.

Wisconsin had been the only state with a July 1 deadline not to have a budget in place.


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