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08
Feb
2017

scott-walkerAfter Governor Walker’s disastrous budgets, he is finally backtracking on some of his deep education cuts to preserve his poll numbers, but what he is proposing is not enough to restore the damage he has caused. He’s making the same irresponsible mistakes with the state that he made with Milwaukee County.


MADISON – On Wednesday, the Democratic legislators on the Joint Committee on Finance held a press conference in advance of Governor Walker’s 2017-2019 Budget Address. The budget is introduced as the Governor faces a re-election fight and low approval ratings following years of historic cuts to cornerstone Wisconsin priorities, such as public school classrooms and universities.

gordon_hintz“The proposals the governor is floating in the budget is an acknowledgement of his failure over the past six years to prioritize the programs most important to the people of Wisconsin,” said Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh). “Throughout his entire time in office, Governor Walker has applied a slash and burn approach to funding our schools and universities in order to afford his tax giveaways to the wealthy. The fact that he is now trying to take credit for pretending to fix the problems he created isn’t fooling anyone.”

“Anyone who thinks this is a budget that will actually address the problems Governor Walker created shouldn’t hold their breath,” said Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton). “While I have no doubt that he will present a budget that looks good on paper, it remains to be seen how realistic his proposals will be when it comes time for the Legislature to submit a budget that is actually balanced. Transportation financing is something we have heard nothing about in the Governor’s budget so we are left expecting another punt of leadership.”

katrina-shankland“After Governor Walker’s disastrous budgets, he is finally backtracking on some of his deep education cuts to preserve his poll numbers,” said Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point). “This means he’s at last admitting that Republican cuts to our most precious institutions have failed the people of Wisconsin. But what he is proposing is not enough to restore the damage he has caused to our public schools and universities. It’s time for the state to make real investments in our children’s education.”

“I’ve been watching Scott Walker bungle budgets since he was Milwaukee County Executive,” said Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee). “He’s making the same irresponsible mistakes with the state that he made with the county. Budgets are about priorities and Governor Walker’s priority is politics over solving Wisconsin’s long-term problems.”

Written by Joint Finance Committee Democrats   
 
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07
Feb
2017

medical-marijuanaShilling backs Compassionate Cannabis Care Act as Democrats partner with health professionals and patients in medical marijuana push.


MADISON – On the heels of a bipartisan effort to legalize marijuana oil for the treatment of children with seizures, Democratic legislators are pushing to expand access to comprehensive care through the use of medical marijuana.

The Compassionate Cannabis Care Act authored by Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) would legalize physician-supervised access to medical marijuana. The bill has gained widespread support from health professionals, patients and Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse).

jennifer-shilling“Most people view medical marijuana as an issue of providing comprehensive health care to those with serious illnesses,” said Shilling. “Medical research, scientific studies, and personal experiences clearly support the use of medical marijuana. I think it’s time to look at our laws and consider joining the majority of states that have already legalized medical marijuana to help treat patients with unbearable and debilitating pain.”

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 28 states including the border states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois. In addition to expanding health care treatment options, states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana have experienced a nearly 25 percent drop in deaths from opioid overdoses compared to states that did not have those laws.

“Opioids kill 80 Americans every day,” added Shilling. “If we want to get serious about saving lives, everything should be on the table - especially since studies indicate that medical marijuana can be a more effective and less addictive treatment for pain. For cancer patients, glaucoma sufferers and other ailing citizens, medical marijuana is one potential tool health professionals can use to treat serious medical conditions and ease their suffering.”

National polling in May 2016 showed that 89 percent of Americans support medical marijuana. Organizational support for physician-supervised access to medical marijuana includes the Wisconsin Nurses Association, the Wisconsin Public Health Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Arthritis Research Campaign, the American Bar Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of HIV Medicine and the Lymphoma Foundation of America.

Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
 
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07
Feb
2017

studentsGov. Walker’s recently released plan on school funding falls short of providing children with a great education regardless of where they live or to fix the school funding formula. Stable funding through an improved equalization aid formula is needed to provide children with a great education across the state.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
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07
Feb
2017

voteWasting more money on lawyers to defend legislative districts recently ruled unconstitutional is an affront not just to the taxpayers but to the voters who have been denied fair elections and their true choice of representation in the State Legislature.


MADISON, WI - The Republican framers of Wisconsin's legislative districts, which were recently ruled unconstitutional, voted in secret last week to pay two undisclosed law firms an indeterminate amount of tax dollars in an effort to defend the maps. These are the same Republicans who already paid lawyers $2.1 million to set up and defend the unconstitutional districts through two lawsuits.

dave-hansen“Republican leaders can’t agree on how to fix our roads, find a way to keep and attract good teachers or make good on the Governor’s promise to create 250,000 jobs, but they can agree to give a blank check to high-priced corporate lawyers to defend their rigging of our elections," said Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). “Instead of wasting more tax dollars GOP leaders should follow the federal court order and draw new, fair maps."

To do any less than the court order requires is an affront not just to the taxpayers but to the voters who have been denied fair elections and their true choice of representation in the State Legislature. Even better would be to pass Senate Bill 13 that would provide real, non-partisan redistricting reform.

“Unfortunately, it is clear from their recent actions that legislative Republicans do not care about safe roads, good public schools, Wisconsin’s workers, fair elections or the taxpayers," concludes Hansen, a champion of fair elections. "All they are concerned with is maintaining the unfair advantage they bought themselves with the public’s tax dollars.”

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Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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03
Feb
2017

road-closed-delayState highway Projects have cost $3 billion more than projected, and the quality of Wisconsin roads have deteriorated in just five years. What's wrong, and what can we do better?

Written by Jon Erpenbach. State Senator 27th District   
 
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03
Feb
2017

money-behind-politicsBetsy DeVos and her family invested $3.2 million to help elect 21 US senators who will now vote. Will Monday’s Vote on Senate Floor Be Payback time? Will Sen. Johnson Pay Her Back or Recuse Himself?

Written by Buzz Davis, Army Veteran & Activist   
 
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