UPDATE: Assembly prepares to debate budget a day late

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin state Assembly plans to begin debate of Gov. Scott Walker’s two-year budget Wednesday afternoon.

The Assembly is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

It originally planned to start debate on Walker’s budget on Tuesday, but delayed action because more time was needed to draft amendments.

The Legislature hopes to pass the budget by the end of the week. The Senate is taking it up on Thursday.

Democrats say Walker’s $66 billion spending plan hurts the middle class through massive cuts to public education and other changes. Republicans say it’s a responsible plan that makes the tough choices necessary to plug a $3 billion budget shortfall.

About 2,500 protesters showed up at the Capitol on Tuesday to speak out about several parts of the plan.