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Republicans, Walker at odds over roads, tax credits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republicans who control the Legislature are clashing over key parts of his $76 billion state budget that runs from July 1 through the end of June 2019. Those areas include:

— Roads: Walker wants to borrow half a billion dollars and delay major road projects instead of raising taxes to deal with a projected $1 billion shortfall. Republican lawmakers, together with Democrats, are urging Walker to consider raising the gas tax and vehicle fees as part of a long-term funding solution. Walker, who is up for re-election next year, is threatening a veto and Republicans in the Assembly and Senate disagree on whether they’d override.

— Self-insurance: Walker projects that $60 million could be saved if the state insured 250,000 state workers, rather than contracting with HMOs. Lawmakers are questioning whether that much could be saved and balking at Walker’s using those savings to help fund his increases for K-12 schools and the University of Wisconsin System.

— Sales tax holiday: Walker wants to waive sales taxes for a weekend in August this year and next for clothing purchases and certain school supplies under $75 and computers costing less than $750. But two Republican lawmakers on the budget committee derided the plan as a “gimmick,” increasing the odds it won’t win support.

— Historic tax credit: Limiting a tax credit for historic preservation projects to $10 million a year, which was rejected in the last budget, is once again finding bipartisan opposition.

— DNR magazine: Walker’s call to stop printing a popular outdoors magazine has seen a loud backlash from the public, environmentalists and lawmakers from both parties.

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