- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015
Walker backs 20-week abortion ban regardless of exemptions

DELAVAN, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he will sign a proposed 20-week abortion ban whether or not it includes an exemption for cases of rape or incest.

Walker, who had previously expressed support for the bill that’s on a fast track in the Wisconsin Legislature, said it didn’t matter whether there was an exemption. As introduced, there is none in the bill.

“I think for most people who are concerned about that, it’s in the initial months when they are most concerned about it,” Walker said when asked about the exemption. “In this case, it’s an unborn life, it’s an unborn child, that’s why we feel strongly about it. I’m prepared to sign it either way they send it to us.”

The abortion bill is scheduled for a joint public hearing Tuesday in the Legislature.

Walker, a likely presidential candidate who is slated to attend Republican events in Georgia and Florida this week, has a long record of supporting anti-abortion measures. He has signed into law required ultrasounds for women considering abortions and he defunded Planned Parenthood.

Another law signed by Walker, requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, has been blocked in federal court.

Walker called the proposed 20-week ban on non-emergency abortions “rational and reasonable.”

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Walker calls Bucks arena talks fluid, hopes to have deal

DELAVAN, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker says negotiations over a financing deal for a new Milwaukee Bucks stadium are fluid, but he still hopes to have something to announce by the end of the week.

Walker’s office, team officials and state and local government leaders have been trying to hammer out a deal for weeks. Details of one proposal as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would split the costs for a new arena in half, with taxpayers on the hook for $250 million with current and former team owners picking up $250 million.

Walker says nothing that’s been reported publicly so far has reached “an absolute conclusion.”

Walker says the final proposal will be a “higher benefit to statewide taxpayers” than if there is no deal and the Bucks leave Wisconsin.

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Walker says Paul not helped by Patriot Act position

DELAVAN, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he does not think Rand Paul’s opposition to allowing the National Security Agency to collect Americans’ phone records in bulk is not helping the Kentucky senator’s presidential run.

Walker is a likely presidential candidate but he has not yet declared. He was asked Monday about whether Paul’s blocking a vote Sunday to extend the fiercely contested program helps him with Republican presidential primary voters.

Walker says, “I do not.” Walker says voters want a balance of protecting civil liberties while giving the intelligence community tools it needs like the phone records.

Walker says he hopes the Senate will soon pass an extension that the House has already approved.

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Walker: ‘I’m going to keep my campaign promises’

DELAVAN, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker, for the second time in less than a week, said Monday that he won’t agree to raise the gas tax or vehicle registration fees to break a legislative impasse over how to pay for highway projects and other transportation needs.

“I’m going to keep my campaign promises,” said Walker, who didn’t specifically promise not to raise the gas tax or vehicle registration fees, but did say he wouldn’t let the overall tax burden go up in his second term.

Walker, who is expected to announce a presidential run soon, commented on transportation funding after a speech at a Boys and Girls Club meeting in Delavan. Walker was re-elected to a second term in November, and the night of his victory promised swift action on the budget given a larger Republican majority in the Legislature.

But the process is taking just as long this year as it did in 2013. That year the budget committee finished its work on June 5 and Walker signed it on June 30.

Figuring out how to pay for road projects is one of the last pieces of the state budget puzzle to fall into place this year. The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee had hoped to finish its work on Friday, but couldn’t get it done. It has yet to set its next meeting date, which was expected to be its last.

Once the budget clears the committee, it heads to the Senate and Assembly - both controlled by Republicans - for votes later this month. Walker has said he won’t announce a presidential run until after he signs the budget into law.

Republicans lawmakers are balking at Walker’s proposal to borrow $1.3 billion for roads, but they haven’t been able to come up with an alternative the governor will back.

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