Tuesday, June 25th

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Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.(Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON — Republican lawmakers on Tuesday approved $1.9 billion of construction projects and building improvements across the state — with more than half being spent on University of Wisconsin System campuses, approving the vast majority of what Gov. Tony Evers wanted for colleges and universities.

But Republicans on the Legislature's finance committee also rejected much of the Democratic governor's plans to replace the state's troubled youth prison north of Wausau. The move revoked spending they authorized last year, leaving no money to establish new, state-run facilities to replace Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls.

Democrats warned the move would delay the closure of the youth prison and keep young offenders in a dangerous environment, but Republicans said they could authorize borrowing for the replacement facilities later.

"This continues to move forward," Rep. Mark Born, R-Beaver Dam, said.