Monday June 26, 2017

Always Foward with Education & Reason

State and Local
Student Loan Relief Plan Rejected by State GOP PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 08:51

joint-finance-statebudState budget committee fails to address growing student loan debt crisis.

MADISON, WI – With nearly one million Wisconsin residents owing a combined $19 billion in student loan debt, Democratic lawmakers continue to push for solutions to lower interest rates and target relief to students and families. On Tuesday, Democratic lawmakers on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee introduced a comprehensive plan that would allow individuals to refinance student loans at lower interest rates and expand tax credits for families with student loan debt.

jennifer-shilling“It’s no secret that Wisconsin’s economy has struggled over the last six years,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “As Republican cuts to schools and universities have piled up, student loan debt has skyrocketed and our state has lagged in job creation. We should be doing everything in our power to lower student loan debt and create opportunities for entrepreneurs and business start-ups to get off the ground.”

The Democratic budget proposal mirrored the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Bill and would have allowed families to refinance student loan debt at lower interest rates similar to options currently available for home mortgages and car loans. While the proposal to lower student loan debt and expand refinancing options is overwhelmingly supported by the public, Republican majority members on the committee rejected the plan outright.

“For years, students and graduates have been begging for relief from high student loan interest rates and crushing debt,” said Shilling. “While Democrats want to level the playing field, expand education opportunities and encourage individuals to pursue their dreams, Republican politicians continue to side with powerful Wall Street banks and block relief efforts. The growing student loan debt crisis isn’t going away – it’s getting worse. Rather than obstructing progress and ignoring the challenges facing Wisconsin families, Democrats will continue to stand up to the special interests and fight for solutions that help hardworking families achieve the American Dream.”

Walker Ignores Democratic Request For Special Session to Spur New Jobs PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 13:43

walkerWalker's disregard for a last in the nation start-up ranking, and his subsequent ignoring of Democratic solutions, shows his priorities don't lie with everyday Wisconsinites.

MADISON - At no point in the last thirty years have more residents in our state lived in poverty. After six years of being sold the idea that tax giveaways for those at the top will turn our state's economy around, families are working harder than ever before but still can't seem to get ahead. The state's problem with job creation was punctuated as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, one of the country’s leading entrepreneurship advocacy and research organizations, ranked Wisconsin dead-last in start-up activity. It's not the first time, nor the second time, but the third time in as many years that Wisconsin has donned the dubious distinction. 

Democrats, alarmed by last week's news, immediately called for a special session to spur new jobs and economic growth - only to be ignored by Gov. Scott Walker. Instead of hearing Democrats' call for a special session to invest in our state's world-class universities that spawn new ideas, industries, and jobs or focusing on workforce development and attracting investors to our state, the Governor played politics, admonishing Democrats for not parroting his cherry-picked economic statistics. 

Democrats have it right. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration small businesses provide 55% of all jobs and two-thirds of all net new jobs since the 1970s. In fact, a study done by the Kauffmann Foundation found that over the last twenty-five years nearly all of the new private sector jobs were created by new businesses less than five years old. In addition, just this year a study done by TechNet and the Progressive Policy Institute found that, if federal and state lawmakers put in place pro-startup policies, like increasing access to capital and improving access to talent, we can jump-start the creation of high-growth startups and generate an additional on million good-paying jobs per year

"As Democrats, we believe that the backbone of Wisconsin’s economy will always be highly-trained workers, local entrepreneurs and small businesses dedicated to creating good, family-supporting jobs in our communities. We only wish Gov. Scott Walker shared that belief," Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Monday. "Walker's disregard for a last in the nation start-up ranking, and his subsequent ignoring of Democratic solutions, shows his priorities don't lie with everyday Wisconsinites but the millionaires and billionaires who fill his campaign coffers. Since Walker won't work with Democratic lawmakers in the legislature, the only way we can give Wisconsinites the ability to achieve the American Dream is to elect Democratic leadership next fall."

Schimel Requests Supreme Court Stay In Redistricting Lawsuit PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Brandon Weathersby   
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 13:30

brad-schimelSchimel should end this waste of taxpayer resources and urge the legislature to create new lines as requested by the highest court in the land.

MADISON - The following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning with regards to Attorney General Brad Schimel's request for the Supreme Court Of The United States to stay an order for new legislative maps:

"Last year, the highest court in the land found the Republican 2011 legislative maps - created in secret - to be unconstitutional. Instead of complying with the Supreme Court's order, Wisconsin Republicans have fought it every step of the way by filing an appeal and today requesting a stay on the November 2016 order.

martha-laning"Attorney General Brad Schimel's request is a pathetic attempt at upholding an unconstitutional law. Wisconsinites would be better served if Schimel cared as much about fair district lines as he does about buying promotional coins for the Department of Justice.

"The fact is that the court rightfully scrutinized district lines that inhibit the right to vote and favor the rights of a select few special interests over the rights of hard-working Wisconsinites who just want their voices heard.

"Schimel should end his tremendous waste of taxpayer resources and urge the legislature to create new lines as requested by the highest court in the land that respects Wisconsin's tradition of fair and open government and ensures that all of the people and communities in our state are represented equally."

WEDC Cannot Be Certain of Any Jobs Created or Retained PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 09:08

walker-no-jobsThe most recent LAB report again points out that WEDC does not collect the information necessary to report on the jobs promised when taxpayer dollars are used. Is our money effectively and efficiently invested?

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