Wisconsin Legislature’s budget committee begins briefings

The Legislature’s public dissection of Gov. Scott Walker’s $76 billion state budget proposal is beginning.

Seven weeks after Walker unveiled his two-year spending plan, the Legislature’s budget-writing committee on Tuesday begins hearing directly from the state agencies affected. The three days of hearings kick-off the roughly two-month review of the budget by the Joint Finance Committee.

The biggest battles are expected over how to pay for roads and whether to go along with Walker’s $649 million increase for public schools.

The Republican-controlled panel will hear only from Walker appointees and other agency heads over the next three days. The public gets a chance to weigh in at six hearings throughout the state in April.

The budget committee is expected to begin taking votes to reshape Walker’s budget in early May.