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Majority Republicans agree to back off mega dairies, veteran tax break budget items

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Majority Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly have agreed to wait for at least a year to make it easier for mega-dairies to run high capacity water wells.

They’ve also agreed to remove a limit on property tax breaks for disabled veterans and their spouses.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced the changes late Tuesday morning, before his house was to begin debate on the two-year, $68 billion budget for the next two years.

Vos said other major parts of the budget – including an income tax cut, an expansion of private school choice, the rejection of federal Medicaid funds under Obamacare, and police taking DNA from suspects arrested but not convicted – would not be changed during the Assembly’s debate.

At least one conservative Republican has strayed from the party line, but the GOP still has a potential 59 votes for the budget as opposed to 39 Democrats.

An Assembly vote on the budget is expected Wednesday.

One of the scrapped budget items would have prevented the DNR from being sued for not reviewing the environmental effects of a high capacity well on neighbors. Critics said it might have helped the developer of a mega-dairy win a lawsuit by its neighbors.