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Rich Win While Taxpayers Lose in State Budget Vote says Hansen PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Dave Hansen, State Senator Dist 30   
Sunday, 17 September 2017 14:44

uwgb-studentSenate Republicans force Wisconsin taxpayers to spend a record $76 billion, but fail to address problems with local schools, roads, and student loans.


MADISON - Senate Republicans continued to pick winners and losers this week forcing Wisconsin taxpayers to pay up to $3 billion in cash payments over the next 15 years to a Chinese corporation with a less than stellar record when it comes to the way in which it treats its workers and the environment.

Nowhere was this better reflected than in the state budget where they spent a record $76 billion but failed to adequately address any of the serious issues facing working families and the middle class.

dave_hansenWhile 47 millionaires get yet another tax cut, Governor Walker and the Republicans failed to fully fund our public schools and continue to give even more taxpayer money to unaccountable private schools.

Despite Wisconsin having some of the worst roads and highways of any state in the nation, the Governor and Republicans decided yet again to kick the can down the road meaning drivers will face longer delays and drive on increasingly worse roads.

The nearly 1 million Wisconsin residents struggling to pay their student loans will have to wait even longer for relief as Republicans continue to oppose a low-cost plan to help them refinance their student loans at lower interest rates.

After voting for the largest taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in our nation’s history, today’s action by Senate Republicans clearly shows whose side they are on. And it’s not the side of working families or the middle class.

***

State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) released this statement after the passage of the State Budget Friday.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 September 2017 15:23
 
Budget Fails to Address Real State Problems says Vinehout PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Kathleen Vinehout, State Senator 31st District   
Sunday, 17 September 2017 14:00

walker-state-denial$79 billion worth of decisions leave transportation funding crisis, education inequalities, rural broadband, health care needs, and desperate local governments unaddressed.


MADISON - In one week, Majority Party members in the Senate made $79 billion worth of decisions for the Foxconn deal and state budget. But our transportation funding crisis, education funding inequalities, rural broadband, health care needs, and desperate local governments remain unaddressed and disregarded.

kathleen-vinehoutSadly, it feels like we just robbed Peter to pay Judas.

There was no attempt to shore up our finances in this budget for the $3 billion approved for Foxconn. It begs the question; what cuts are in store for schools, health care and property tax increases in future budgets?

Majority Party members have been tripping over each other for months to pass a budget. I cannot vote for this budget that fails to fix our broken school funding formula and doesn’t come close to acknowledging the seriousness of our transportation debt crisis.

***

State Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) released this statement regarding State Senate action on the 2017-19 State Budget bill.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 September 2017 14:20
 
Republican 2017-19 Budget Blocks Kids Access to the American Dream says Larsen PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Sunday, 17 September 2017 10:06

teaching-studentsThe negative effects shown by this continued ‘values deficit’ in education go counter to Wisconsin’s proud heritage.


MADISON – How we choose to invest in our children is one of the most important and critical parts of our state budget. I strongly believe one of core pillars of what makes Wisconsin a great state is our dedication to a great education system, where every child has access to a quality education.

It's such a part of who we are that it's actually in our state Constitution. Wisconsin must renew this value of supporting our local public schools, as it is crucial to strengthening our communities and state.

The budget, crafted by the Republican majority, continues to shortchange our children. After nearly $1 billion in historic cuts to the K-12 system, the Republican majority has chosen to continue their attack on our public schools by failing to make them whole. Wisconsin families count on us to do our job so that all of our children have the best education possible. At $76 billion, the largest budget in state history, this anemic K-12 budget shortchanges the future of our kids and grandkids.

chris-larsonThe negative effects shown by this continued ‘values deficit’ in education go counter to Wisconsin’s proud heritage. For the first time in modern history, Wisconsin has dropped below the national average for per-child funding. Rejecting our responsibility and constitutional commitment as a state to adequately fund our local schools to allow them to provide a quality education is a dangerous betrayal of a generational promise that has brought the opportunity for prosperity to our state. To make it worse, this budget also allows for a massive expansion of the unaccountable voucher program.

We can and must do better for our kids. Under an amendment offered by Senate Democrats, every single one of our Wisconsin school districts would see a stronger investment, allowing them to ensure our kids reach their full potential and have a shot at the American Dream. Republican’s ignored our neighbors and reject this amendment. I hope they will come to their senses later during the budget debate and support our amendment that would provide real accountability and transparency in the private voucher program.

***

This statement from Senator Chris Larson was released regarding the Republican rejection of a brighter future for our kids through an amendment offered by Democrats in the 2017-19 state budget.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 September 2017 10:19
 
Leah Vukmir Criticizes Tammy Baldwin’s Support of Single-Payer Health Care PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Leah Vukmir for Senate, Jessica Ward   
Friday, 15 September 2017 13:35

leah-vukmirConservative candidate thinks government-run health care is foolish.


BROOKFIELD, WI — Nurse, state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir issued the following statement Tuesday about Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s support for Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” health care bill:

“It’s no surprise to me that Sen. Baldwin supports socialized, government-run health care along with Bernie Sanders. Rather than working to identify the problems with our health care system, she’d rather raise taxes and throw more money at it. We cannot afford $1.4 trillion in new spending when our national debt is already more than $20 trillion.

tammy-baldwin“Sen. Baldwin has been running around the state saying that ‘health care is personal.’ Well, it is personal, that’s why government-run health care is foolish. It’s so irresponsible even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, refuses to endorse the plan. I want health care that focuses on patients, allows for customized plans, provides choices and drives costs down through competition.

“Wisconsin has been a leader and an innovator in these kinds of solutions. It’s time for the federal government to get out of health care so states like ours can once again make it personal for patients.”

 
"Baldwin backs Medicare For All" Battleground Wisconsin Podcast PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Matt Brusky   
Friday, 15 September 2017 08:51

baldwin_back_medicare_for_allBaldwin’s support for new Medicare for All legislation, the budget, Foxconn, and the change in leadership among Assembly Democrats.


STATEWIDE - We discuss Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s support for new Medicare for All legislation introduced this week in the U.S, Senate. Baldwin's forward looking vision is in sharp contrast with Sen. Ron Johnson and his conservative colleagues who introduced yet another effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The panel talks about the long delayed special interest laden state budget that passed the assembly on Tuesday and now heads to the Senate for final rubber stamping. We also review the latest on Foxconn, including Kenosha’s clear minded decision to pass on the boondoggle.

Finally we discuss the change in leadership among Assembly Democrats and Paul Ryan’s confession over the debt consequences of his own tax plan.

Read more...
 
Democratic Radio "Republican Budget is Rigged Against Wisconsin Families" PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 14 September 2017 13:08

MADISON – Today, Rep. Steve Doyle (D-Onalaska) offered the Democratic Weekly Radio Address on the Republican budget that passed the Assembly:

"It’s frustrating that after so many delays, we ended up with a budget that gives away hard-earned taxpayer dollars to a select few while raising taxes on hardworking families.This isn’t fair and it doesn’t make economic sense," Rep. Doyle said. "If the Republicans would just sit down and work with the Democrats, we could do great things for Wisconsin."

The audio file of this week’s address can be found here, and the video can be found here

A written transcript of the address is below:"Hi, I’m Representative Steve Doyle with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

"On Wednesday, the Majority Party in the Assembly passed a budget that was nearly three months late. This new budget doesn’t fill the funding hole created in our public schools over the past six years. It doesn’t contain a long-term funding solution to fix our crumbling roads. It doesn’t help Wisconsinites access affordable, quality health care and it doesn’t help students who are burdened by their college debt. And instead of strengthening our economy, this budget will actually slow down wage growth for Wisconsin workers.

"It’s frustrating that after so many delays, we ended up with a budget that gives away hard-earned taxpayer dollars to a select few while raising taxes on hardworking families.This isn’t fair and it doesn’t make economic sense.

"Democrats worked hard to make this budget better. We really wanted a bipartisan budget that works for everyone. We offered amendments to lower taxes for middle class working families. We wanted to invest in infrastructure, like our roads, bridges and broadband. We advocated for our public schools that educate 86 percent of our children. We promoted BadgerCare and wanted to make health care affordable and accessible for all. We supported plans to do more for our communities by protecting clean drinking water and investing in the tools to keep our communities healthy and safe for our families and our children. 

"If the Republicans would just sit down and work with the Democrats, we could do great things for Wisconsin. They chose not to and that is really unfortunate. We missed the opportunity to do something really meaningful for our state and that is truly unfortunate. 

"I’m Representative Steve Doyle."

 
"I Will Show Up For Work, Will They?" - Sen. Tim Carpenter PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Scott May   
Thursday, 14 September 2017 12:53

tim-carpenterMADISON – State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) today released the following statement regarding the absurdly overdue republican state budget.

“Now that they have the great Foxconn distraction out of the way it is time for Republicans to actually focus on the funding of our state. With complete control of state government the dysfunctional Republicans are now 77 days late on delivering their budget and Wisconsin is one of only two states to not pass a budget on time as required by law. I will be on the floor of the Senate bright and early Friday morning ready to debate the misguided priorities in their budget. The question remains, will they? According to Majority Leader Fitzgerald the answer is apparently anyone’s guess. If the controlling party can find it within themselves to actually pass this budget, I would be particularly eager to hear them justify the pork for campaign contributors, earmarks, and special interest favors they’ve included. Alternatively, if the Majority Party continues to refuse to govern, maybe it’s time for them to try something novel. Maybe it’s time for them to reach out to Democrats, work with us, include our ideas and priorities in this budget, and get something done for the people of Wisconsin.”

 

 
Barca Says Budget is Rigged Against Wisconsin Families PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Thursday, 14 September 2017 07:44

WalkerSeven years into Scott Walker’s career as governor and we have little to show for his promises.


MADISON - Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement Wednesday in response to the Assembly’s passage of a $76 billion budget that is rigged against regular Wisconsinites:

“Here we are, nearly seven years into Scott Walker’s career as governor with little to show for his promises. The non-partisan Fiscal Bureau stated in a new report today that Walker and Republicans are spending more money than they will have in the next biennium. By 2021, we’ll be nearly $1 billion in the hole.

peter_barcaWisconsinites care about ensuring every individual in their community has an equal opportunity to succeed in an economy that is fair. Those are our priorities, and our state budget should reflect them.

I’m proud of my colleagues who fought for every Wisconsinite, not for the special interests that Republicans are beholden to. The truth is, this budget is rigged against Wisconsin families. Legislative Republicans had many opportunities to improve the budget for working families. Instead, they bickered all summer and failed to pass a budget that provides increased wages for workers, that makes health care more affordable, and that fixes crumbling roads and bridges. By delaying a sustainable transportation solution, Republicans are ensuring our roads will continue to deteriorate and will be even worse two years from now.

Simply put, Gov. Walker’s budget increased taxes on working families and parents, and they refused to provide help to Wisconsinites drowning in student-loan debt.

We can do better. The people of Wisconsin deserve better.”

*****

Assembly writer Olivia Hwang submitted this story.

 
Foxconn Giveaway is Bad for Wisconsin Taxpayers PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Jay Wadd   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 13:10

walker-terry-gou-foxconnThe Governor and Republicans were quick to say we can’t afford very minimal investments in Wisconsin residents, but they can’t give away our money fast enough when a billionaire shows up for a hand out.


GREEN BAY - As someone who helped Marinette Marine land the Navy LCS contract that created thousands of new jobs in Northeast Wisconsin and around the state, I am supportive of responsible efforts to create jobs regardless of which party those ideas come from.

Unfortunately, the deal negotiated by Governor Walker and Senate Republicans is short on protections and long on risks to the taxpayers of the 30th Senate District who will be forced to contribute up to $90 million as their share of nearly $3 billion in cash payments to Foxconn, a $100 billion corporation based in Taiwan and China. That’s nearly $500 for every person and $1200 for every family of four in our district.

dave-hansen-gbThe Governor and Republicans are quick to say we can’t afford to make very minimal investments to help the nearly 1 million Wisconsin residents refinance their student loans at lower rates or help nearly 1.5 million private workers save for retirement. But no sooner does a billionaire show up with their hand out, they can’t give away our money fast enough.

The Governor used to say that the people know better how to spend their money than the government does. Except when it comes to giving one of the wealthiest people on Earth a few billion dollars of other people’s money. Never mind that $500 or $1200 for a family could go a long way to helping them make ends meet, or help pay for technical college or job training. When it comes to helping average folks or rich billionaires we now know who the Governor and Republicans truly care about.

Make no mistake, this is the largest taxpayer giveaway in U.S. history. And despite the claims of supporters, it comes with very few guarantees that Foxconn will uphold their end of the agreement. In fact, Foxconn thinks so little of the people of our state that they couldn’t even bother to show up at one of the two public hearings on this deal to answer questions, ensure they will be accountable to the taxpayers, or even just say thank you.

P.T. Barnum must be laughing.

***

State Senator Dave Hansen (D - Green Bay) released this statement Tuesday on the passage of the Foxconn deal in the Senate.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 September 2017 13:32
 
Republicans Pass Massive Corporate Giveaway To Foxconn Says Larson PDF Print E-mail
Commentary
Written by Chris Larson, State Senator, District 7   
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 11:14

walker-ryan-gou-foxconnDeal Fails to Protect Wisconsin Taxpayers, workers victims of a Foxconn automation ‘bait and switch.’.


MADISON - Our Wisconsin economy must be built on rewarding hard work and innovation by creating more opportunities for our small businesses, innovators, communities, and children to reach their full potential. Choosing a foreign corporation over our Main Street businesses is a dangerous and desperate gamble.

From listening to my neighbors, it is abundantly clear that this proposal is a bad deal for Wisconsin.

chris-larsonThat’s why my Democratic colleagues and I offered common sense protections for our neighbors through amendments that would maintain environmental safeguards and ensure the health and safety of our waters and lands. We also offered an amendment that would have protected Wisconsin workers from being victims of a Foxconn automation ‘bait and switch.’

Perhaps the most common sense amendment offered to allow our Wisconsin communities a real opportunity to weigh-in on their priorities for our state. In every corner of Wisconsin, local communities have passed referenda to invest more in our neighborhood schools as the GOP turned their backs on our kids time and again. If we are going to pick a billion dollar corporate giveaway over our schools, we should allow the taxpayers a chance to sign off via a referendum.

At the end of the day, Senate Republicans rejected our common sense protections and were not able to guarantee that our neighbors would not be on the hook for the $3 billion handout included in the Walker/Trump/Foxconn proposal. For these reasons, I stood with Wisconsin families and voted against the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history.

*****

Senator Larson released this statement Tuesday regarding the passage of the Walker/Trump/Foxconn proposal in the State Senate.

 
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