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Doyle says budget is getting tougher by the minute

Gov. Jim Doyle will hold a news conference Wednesday to talk about Wisconsin's budget problems that seem to be getting tougher by the minute.

Doyle laid out the situation in private meetings with legislative leaders, and more than 15 mayors.

Those officials said cities should brace for even more cuts in state aid than the 1 percent reduction Doyle included in his budget in February.

The expected deficit for the next budget was around $5 billion. But now, it's said to be about $6 billion.

That's because Wisconsinites are not spending as much and Madison is getting fewer tax revenues than expected.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Doyle did not give an exact amount for a new aid reduction but he made it clear that cities should be ready.

As a result, Barrett says there's a real possibility that Milwaukee city employees will be ordered to take unpaid furloughs.

He said most mayors are worried about preserving their police and fire protection.

Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna, president of the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities, says everything is back on the table and that hasn't changed.

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker and Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan refused to comment after their meeting with Doyle.