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Wis. Governor Proposes Deep Cuts For Schools

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(credit: Tom Lynn-Pool/Getty Images)

(credit: Tom Lynn-Pool/Getty Images)

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MADISON, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has released a two-year budget plan that cuts $1.5 billion in aid to public schools and local governments. It also avoids tax or fee increases, employee furloughs or widespread layoffs — if his contentious collective bargaining proposal is put in place.

The Republican governor is refusing to budge on a plan to eliminate most public employee collective bargaining rights. The proposal has stirred a national debate and drawn tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol.

Walker released a full budget plan Tuesday that he says bolsters his argument for union concessions to deal with a projected $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

He says eliminating most collective bargaining will allow state agencies, local governments and school districts flexibility to react quickly to the cuts he’s proposing.

The effects of such cuts would vary by community.

“The city of Hudson receives, in comparison, a relatively small amount of shared revenue. Historically, about $200,000,” said Devin Willi, Hudson’s city manager.

However, not all cities in Wisconsin receive similar amounts of aid.

“River Falls, for example, receives over $2 million annually,” said Willi.

Democrats are criticizing the proposed cuts. Wisconsin Rep. Tamara Grigsby said the Republican governor is “waging war” on Wisconsin families by trying to cut funding for schools and public assistance programs.

WCCO’s Bruce Hagevik Interviews Devin Willi

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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