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21
Jan
2016

walker-wedcMADISON - State revenue numbers released today by the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau show Wisconsin’s economy continues to under perform, with actual state revenues nearly $100 million below earlier projections.

“The nearly $100 million shortfall in revenue today shows the state’s economy is still lagging badly behind neighboring states like Minnesota which has a $1.9 billion surplus,” said State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay). “Wisconsin families still continue to struggle under a GOP-controlled Legislature that has chosen to give over $2 billion in tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy and cut public and higher education by $2 billion.”

Continuing to give more tax breaks to the wealthy in the hope they will invest here, rather than send more of their money offshore to tax havens, has not proven as beneficial to the Wisconsin economy as Gov. Scott Walker had hoped.

Investing in Wisconsin families by improving funding for education, making it possible for nearly 1 million state residents to refinance their student loans, and fixing ailing roads and highways would provide more proven ways to stimulate growth.

2015 saw the continuation of mass layoffs and outsourcing under the Walker administration while job growth and family income continue to remain sluggish.

dave-hansen“Instead of giving billions in tax dollars to corporations that send Wisconsin jobs overseas we should restore the $200 million cut to technical colleges that have limited their ability to train workers for new jobs and invest in our local roads and highways,” said Hansen.

The GOP’s ongoing failure to address the growing student loan crisis continues to drag down the state’s economy. A recent study by the Baird investment firm shows that people with student loans are less likely to participate in the economy: 63% said they were unable to buy a new car; 75% say it has hurt their ability to buy a home and 43% said they have put off starting a family.

“We cannot repair our economy without truly addressing the high cost of student loans," said Hansen.  "Passing refinancing will not just make it possible for thousands of Wisconsin residents to buy new cars and homes or start families, it is one of the single best things we could do to improve our struggling economy.”

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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21
Jan
2016

wisconsinIn a move that may further open the door to corruption and cronyism, the Wisconsin Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to modify the State's civil service system that was put in place 110 years ago to keep politics out of hiring public employees.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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20
Jan
2016

student-loansGov. Scott Walker’s Opposition to the State's Higher Ed., Lower Debt bill sponsored by local Senator Dave Hansen for Student Loan Refinancing will continue to be a drag on Wisconsin's economy.


MADISON - While Governor Scott Walker tried to frame his State of the State speech last night as a pledge to return to a reasonable level in investment in K-12 education and college, he had little new to offer the over 815,000 Wisconsin residents holding some type of student loans.

Walker's plan to solve the student loan problem was mostly summarized in his speech last night when he said "we helped make college more affordable at our University of Wisconsin campuses as we froze tuition".

The student loan crisis is perhaps the biggest issue facing our state today. Its impact on the economy costs businesses and our economy hundreds of millions of dollars per year and the jobs those millions would create.

Nearly 60% of student loan holders in Wisconsin are over the age of 30, the age at which people look to start families, buy new homes and cars. Research has shown that the student loan crisis is costing our economy over $200 million per year in lost new car sales alone.

dave-hansenTinkering around the edges with a plan that ignores the needs of 97% of student loan holders in the state does nothing to help the hundreds of thousands of people struggling under the weight of crushing student loan debt except leave them at the mercy of Wall Street.

According to Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay, co-author of the State's Higher Ed., Lower Debt bill to allow families to refinance their loans at lower interest rates, Walker’s opposition to reasonable student loan refinancing will continue to be a drag on Wisconsin's economy.

“The Governor’s opposition to allowing the refinancing of student loans will continue to be a drag on our economy and will increase brain drain as new and recent graduates move to states like Minnesota where they can find better paying jobs and lower interest rates on their student loans,” says Hansen.

The time has come for action on the student loan crisis, not more rhetoric.

***

Legislative staffer Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

Written by GBP Staff   
 
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18
Jan
2016

minnesotaandwisconsinThis week as we prepare for Governor Walker’s State of the State address, Sen. Vinehout writes about the State of our State compared to Minnesota. Our neighbor to the west leads states in many rankings and Wisconsin lawmakers would be wise to follow Minnesota’s lead.

Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
 
Page 190 of 195

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