Major issues facing Wisconsin Legislature this year

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Associated Press | January 5, 2015

MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker begins his second term Monday as the Legislature reconvenes with larger Republican majorities for a two-year session. The big issues they're likely to face:

— How to plug a $2.2 billion state budget gap. Walker is to introduce his plan in early February and lawmakers will spend months altering it before voting on the tax and spend plan likely in late spring.

— Whether, when and how much to cut property and income taxes, as Walker promised on the campaign trail. That promise is made more difficult by the budget shortfall.

— What to do about roads. The Department of Transportation wants $751 million in higher gas taxes and fees to plug its own budget gap, but Walker hasn't said what he will support.

— Whether to enact right-to-work legislation. Such laws prohibit unions from forcing private-sector workers to join them or pay dues as a condition of employment.

— Loosening or dropping altogether the enrollment caps on the private school voucher program. It is currently capped at 1,000 students for schools participating outside of Milwaukee and Racine. Republicans want it to grow, but cost is a worry.

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