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Update: Budget Committee Actions Wednesday

Justin W. Kern

The Legislature's Joint Finance resumed its work Wednesday, reviewing Gov. Walker's proposed 2013-2015 state budget. Among actions the panel took before adjourning:

-- Develop a multi-vendor system to compile student information, scrapping the solo agreement the state had arranged with a Minnesota company

-- Halt further implementation in schools of federal Common Core standards, until they're evaluated

-- Require all high school juniors to take the ACT, with the state paying for the test

-- Halt pension payments to retired public school teachers and administrators and UW System staff, if they are rehired to work more than 1,044 hours

-- Reduce unemployment benefits by $37 million, including to workers who voluntary leave jobs; provide a state loan to reduce businesses' interest payments on federal benefit money

-- Delay vote on expanding school Choice/voucher program to all school districts with at least 4,000 students and two failing schools

-- Delay vote on funding for K-12 public schools

-- Remove from the budget, a plan to create a charter school board; the item will be considered as separate legislation