- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 24, 2015
GOP senator says goal remains to finish budget by July 1

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Republican legislative leaders met again Tuesday with a goal of finishing the state budget before the new fiscal year begins on July 1, saying they were making progress without being specific about what had actually been decided.

The one-week timeline to get the budget out of the Joint Finance Committee and passed in both the Senate and Assembly is aggressive considering GOP lawmakers have been at a stalemate since May 29. Despite having strong majorities in the Assembly and Senate, as well as fellow Republican Scott Walker as governor, they have been unable to reach agreement on a variety of issues, including whether to protect large highway construction projects in southeast Wisconsin from funding cuts that could delay their completion.

“I wouldn’t rule it out,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said of wrapping up the budget in just seven days. “I’ve seen deals come together quicker than that.”

If there is no budget by July 1, current funding levels would continue until the new deal is enacted. The government would not shut down.

Still, “the goal is to be done by July,” said Sen. Luther Olsen, a Republican member of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. He met Tuesday with other Republican leaders behind closed doors to find consensus on the remaining issues.

“They just keep throwing plans out and seeing if there are enough votes to get something,” Olsen said.

Fitzgerald, who also was in the meeting, said progress was being made even though “we just keep hashing out the same issues.”

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250-300 people kicked out of Kenny Chesney concert

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - Police say as many as 300 people were kicked out of country music stars Kenny Chesney and Jason Aldean’s concert at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin.

Press-Gazette Media (https://gbpg.net/1ByenkUhttps://gbpg.net/1ByenkU ) reports that between 250 and 300 people were tossed from Saturday’s concert, compared to the average of 25 ejections during Green Bay Packers’ games last season.

Green Bay Capt. Paul Ebel, who oversaw concert police operations, says he couldn’t recall handling an event so busy for police at the stadium. Concertgoers were ejected mostly for fighting, harassment and extreme intoxication.

Police said 25 people were arrested at the concert, which drew roughly 53,000 people. During Chesney’s 2011 concert at Lambeau Field, 15 people were arrested and 60 ejected.

Since 2002, the highest number of people ejected from a Packers game is 91.

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State Rep. Kapenga wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - State Rep. Chris Kapenga of Delafield is headed to a general election to replace state Sen. Paul Farrow, who is leaving his seat to work as Waukesha County executive.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports (https://bit.ly/1eGGULkhttps://bit.ly/1eGGULk ) Kapenga beat technical college administrator and former police sergeant Brian Dorow and physician Mikael Langner in the Republican primary Tuesday.

Preliminary returns show Kapenga earned 52 percent of the vote, according to the newspaper.

Kapenga will face Democrat Sherryll Shaddock in the July 21 general election.

The Waukesha district is heavily Republican, making Kapenga the favorite. Shaddock also ran in 2014 but got just 26 percent of the vote.

Republicans currently hold a 19-14 advantage in the Senate.

Farrow is resigning his seat on July 17. The winner’s term will run through 2018.

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Wisconsin company says it will stop making Confederate flags

OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) - A flag maker in the Milwaukee area says it will stop making and selling the Confederate flag, saying the decision was motivated by last week’s shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Oak Creek-based Eder Flag Manufacturing Co. announced its plans Tuesday, saying the company’s late owner Eugene Eder “fought in World War II against the forces of bigotry, hatred and tyranny.”

Debate over the flag has exploded after the South Carolina shooting that killed nine people. The suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, appeared in photos holding the Confederate flag.

Companies including Wal-Mart, Amazon and eBay have said they would remove Confederate flag merchandise. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley called for the Confederate battle flag’s removal from the Statehouse grounds Monday.

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