Republicans Deal a Major Blow to Open Government, Load Budget with Special Interest Giveaways as Schools, Universities Brace for Harmful Cuts
Anti-Education, Anti-Middle Class Budget Wrapping Up in Joint Finance Committee
MADISON – Today Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee passed their wrap-up motion, which is full of pet projects, earmarks and giveaways that were developed in private, closed-door meetings, while once again not allowing the public any input on these drastic changes. Some of the more harmful items Republicans voted for include shielding legislators from open records laws, threatening workers’ right to a weekend and vastly expanding the reach of predatory payday lenders.
In response, Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) released the following statement:
“Legislative Republicans took no time at all to make dramatic cuts to public schools and our world-class university system, yet they were happy to spend weeks making backroom deals, dismantling Wisconsin’s tradition of clean, open and transparent government and loading their budget with giveaways to their special interest friends.
“As the Finance Committee process draws to a close, one thing is clear: our state will be far worse off in two years under this anti-education, anti-middle class and anti-Wisconsin budget.
“The Republican budget will remove up to $800 million from Wisconsin’s public schools and give it to unaccountable private voucher schools over the next decade as a favor to their private-school campaign contributors. Republicans are cutting our universities by $250 million, the largest such cut of any state in the country. To top it all off, despite promises to the contrary, Republicans are kicking a bigger can down a longer road on needed infrastructure while also gutting funding for transportation projects with changes to the governor’s budget that will also cost 5,500 good-paying jobs.
“The people of Wisconsin deserve a budget that puts Wisconsin kids and families first – not Republican special interests and Governor Walker’s presidential ambitions. If Republican legislators want to do the right thing for our communities and our citizens, they must vote no on this extremely harmful budget.
“I look forward to debating this budget on the floor and discussing how completely out of touch this Republican budget is with the values we all share as Wisconsinites.”
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