Statement from Rep. Bowen on Assembly’s Passage of Backwards Republican Budget
“We’ve known from the start that this budget is wrong for Wisconsin.”
MILWAUKEE – Rep. David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) issued a statement today in response to the Republican majority’s vote to pass the 2015-2017 state budget:
“We’ve known from the start that this budget is wrong for Wisconsin. Instead of providing public school districts like Milwaukee Public Schools and Shorewood School District with much-needed support, this budget will direct $800 million in taxpayer funds to unaccountable private schools over the next decade. My Republican colleagues also voted to eliminate funding for the Chapter 220 program in this budget, ignoring the widespread success of this historic, voluntary integration program and its important role in encouraging diversity in Milwaukee metropolitan schools since the 1970s. This budget will hurt public schools across the state of Wisconsin.”
“This budget also cuts $250 million from our world class University of Wisconsin System of colleges and universities and drives down wages for workers while eliminating the state statute that requires living wages. It creates uncertainty for seniors and disabled residents who rely on long-term care programs to survive, provides even more tax breaks for the wealthy while increasing the burden on working class families, and decimates protections for the environment.”
“Republican legislators’ vote on this budget shows that they are willing to ignore the voices and needs of Wisconsin citizens in order to satisfy their wealthy donors and help Governor Walker prepare for his presidential campaign. Rather than looking out for taxpayers, which they claim is their number one priority, Republicans hypocritically voted in favor of pork barrel pet-projects for special interest groups. They voted to diminish local control by meddling with the Milwaukee County Board and fast-tracking a controversial crude oil pipeline project through Dane County. Evidently, getting our state’s economy back on track, creating jobs through innovation and entrepreneurship, and growing the tax base are not priorities of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Instead, Republicans voted to expand the powers of the predatory payday loan industry. Wisconsin citizens deserve better than that.”
“I opposed the initial budget that Governor Walker unveiled months ago, and despite Democratic efforts to work with our Republican colleagues to craft a budget that puts Wisconsin families first, Republicans remained blindly committed to advancing the destructive policies proposed by the governor. It has never been clearer that Wisconsin desperately needs new leadership in the Capitol, leadership that is willing to put Wisconsin citizens first and commit to moving our state forward again.”
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