Wisconsin Wave

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The Assembly today opened their session as planned at 11:00 a.m. but immediately adjourned for the parties to go to caucus. An executive session of the Joint Committee on Retirement Systems has been called for 4:00 p.m. this afternoon to discuss adding the collective bargaining provisions to the budget, after which the Assembly will re-convene and take up the full bill.

According to a tweet from News 3's Jessica Arp, "Assembly can't vote on budget before 4pm, when joint committee on retirement systems meets to vote on coll barg provisions in amendment."

In the meantime the Senate also began a session today wherein it will be debating a bill to allow concealed carry in Wisconsin. The body is currently in recess after Senate Democrats asked to go to caucus. The Senate will not take up the budget until Thursday, provided the Assembly has by then voted on it.

Protesters numbering in the hundreds, quickly bordering on thousands, once again converged on the Capitol to express their opposition to the budget and the Extraordinary Session invokd to pass it. They are currently circling the building and occupying the rotunda, chanting and singing songs.

There were several other developments this morning, including UW Chancellor Biddy Martin's announcement that she would be leaving her position with the university to become president of Amherst College.

Also, Joint Finance Committee Chairman Robin Vos earlier today said that an amendment to the bill that would have forced the state to return millions in federal funding for the popular WiscNet broadband program would be adopted by the Assembly. The amendment would delay any restrictions on WiscNet and allow for federal money to be accepted and used over the next two years while an audit is performed on the program.

Dane101 will have more coverage from the Assembly session later this evening.

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