Wisconsin Senate approves budget cut bill

MADISON — The Wisconsin Senate has passed a bill that would require state agencies to give the governor plans for cutting spending or maintaining it at current levels along with their biennial budget requests.

Right now, agencies submit budget requests for the next two years by September 15th of every even-numbered year.

Under the Republican bill, agencies would have to include proposals to cut their operations budget by a total of 5 percent and maintain operations spending levels for each of year of the biennium. The operations budget wouldn't include aid to local governments, individuals and organizations. Spending for debt service and spending federal dollars wouldn't be part of the operations budget, either.

The Senate approved the bill 19-13 Tuesday, February 16th -- sending it to the Assembly.