Budget committee removes 83 of Walker’s proposals

The Legislature’s budget-writing committee is ignoring Gov. Scott Walker’s call to borrow half a billion dollars and delay highway projects to deal with a projected $1 billion shortfall.

Leaders of the Joint Finance Committee on Thursday said they will be starting debate over the Department of Transportation budget from scratch, rather than what the governor proposed. The committee could always vote to do what Walker wanted, but the decision is yet another signal that the Republican-controlled panel wants to head in a different direction.

The co-chairs also removed from the budget 83 policy items that now must pass on their own rather than as part of the $76 billion two-year spending plan.

That includes a Walker proposal to allow University of Wisconsin students to opt out of paying fees that support student activities and organizations.