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07
May
2015

scottwalker-dreamMADISON - The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported this week that the state is on track for 3.7 percent growth this year as predicted in January, with no changes expected in the forecast for the next two years. That means the windfall revenue growth Gov. Scott Walker predicted in his re-election campaign last fall will not materialize to offset the $2.2 billion deficit he ran up in his first term.

The disappointing forecast forces the Republican-controlled Legislature to consider alternatives to reduce Walker's proposed budget cuts this year, including accounting moves, increasing borrowing, making other reductions or raising taxes and fees.

peter_barcaAccording to Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), who responded to the latest numbers that predict zero additional state revenue on Wednesday, “These weak revenue projections are another indication of the harm that three rounds of Republican budgeting, as well as their anemic economic development efforts, has done to our state".

While our neighboring states take advantage of an improving national economy and are experiencing large budget surpluses, Wisconsin continues to lag behind due to Republicans’ irresponsible budget choices and their poor economic development policies that have left Wisconsin 40th in the country in job growth. We can do better for the people of Wisconsin to ensure long-term economic prosperity.

Our community schools are hurting from Republicans’ actions and schools will continue to struggle even if Republicans restore their own proposed cuts. Time and again, Republicans have sold out Wisconsin schools and instead chosen massive tax giveaways for the corporate special interests and donors who fund Gov. Walker’s campaigns.

dave-hansen-gbAnd then there is the politically motivated decision by Walker not to accept $345 million in federal Medicaid money. According to Sen. Dave Hansen (D - Green Bay), “The recent revenue numbers from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau confirm what many of us have been saying for some time now. It is time to put partisan politics and ambitions aside and reclaim $345 million of our federal tax dollars to strengthen BadgerCare and avoid unnecessary cuts to our schools and UW campuses.”

Perhaps Sen. Barca has the best conclusion, “The sad truth is that Gov. Walker’s presidential ambitions – which are being carried out by Republicans in the legislature – will harm Wisconsin communities for years to come.”

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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07
May
2015

STATEWIDE - Now that the new revenue estimates released earlier this week have failed to produce any budget saving unicorns, attention should shift to the $345 million Governor Walker is leaving on the table by rejecting enhanced federal funding for BadgerCare.

5health_f1.The map at left provided by the Center on Budget and Policy priorities shows just how isolated Wisconsin is in rejecting this money.  Wisconsin is the only state in the entire Great Lakes region to turn down these critically important federal dollars.

As Citizen Action of Wisconsin explained earlier this week, because Governor’s Walker’s economic policies is generating mostly poverty-wage jobs, the cost of rejecting the BadgerCare money is increasing. One of the reasons that revenue estimates are slightly down is that the Governor’s policies are driving down wages in both the public and the private sector.

“This week’s revenue numbers should be a wake up call to Legislators to revisit Governor Walker’s damaging decision to rejected enhanced federal dollars for BadgerCare,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Wisconsin cannot afford to needlessly leave tens of thousands of citizens without affordable health care, and in the process force massive cuts to critical investments in economic opportunity such as funding for our schools, technical colleges, and universities.”

Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Robert Kraig   
 
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