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State and Local
6 Years of Walker & Wisconsin is Lagging Behind PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats   
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 13:26

walkerFrom job creation to road quality, Wisconsin is weaker under Republican leadership then other Midwestern States.

MADISON - New state rankings released today reveal that Wisconsin is lagging behind other Midwestern states for job creation. In 2016, Wisconsin lost nearly 4,000 manufacturing jobs and created 10,000 fewer jobs than in previous years. That made 2016 the worst year for job creation since the great recession in 2009.

Wisconsin was 33rd for job creation in 2016. Since Gov. Walker took office, Wisconsin has continually underperformed its neighboring states for job creation. From 2011 to 2016, only Iowa was worse for job creation. Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota outperformed Wisconsin during Walker’s tenure.

The jobs report also revealed lower wages for Wisconsin workers. The average Wisconsin worker in the private sector earned $624 less in 2016 than in 2015 based on reported fourth-quarter earnings. Manufacturing workers saw an average decrease in annual pay of $2,652 a year also based on fourth-quarter earnings.

peter_barca“When I look at this report, I’m astonished that Gov. Walker doesn’t see how desperately we need to work together to create an economy that works for everyone. This report shows that Wisconsin is still in the bottom third in the nation for job creation. We’ve lost nearly 4,000 manufacturing jobs. We’re dead last in the nation for entrepreneurship. Wages are falling at a time when they should be rising,” said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca. “Weeks ago, I called for Gov. Walker to ask the legislature for a special session to address these challenges, but the governor did nothing. I don’t understand how Walker and the Republican legislature can look at these facts and praise each other for their successes. It’s time for a bold plan to jumpstart the economy.”

While Gov. Walker touts low unemployment rates, his data neglects to consider individuals who have dropped out of the job market and residents who have left Wisconsin for work in other states.

Wisconsin has fallen behind neighboring states on a number of measures, including:

  • Wisconsin has some of the worst roads in the nation. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said roads have gotten worse since Walker has been in office from 2010 to 2015.[1]
  • Wisconsin has risen to fifth highest in the nation in the percentage of college graduates with student loan debt according to the Institute for College Access and Success.[2]
  • Wisconsin is dead last in start-up activity according to the Kauffman Index.[3]
  • Wisconsin also continues to lose residents to other states. In 2015, Wisconsin lost more than 15,000 residents to out-migration.[4]


Olivia Hwang contributed this story.

Is Wisconsin Entering a Recession? PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats, Tony Palese   
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 12:59

walker-wedc‘Gold Standard’ jobs report exposes weakening economy and declining wages as many good-paying jobs are leaving Wisconsin.

MADISON, WI – As Gov. Walker prepares to campaign with Pres. Trump in the coming days, another stinging jobs report highlights the economic turmoil that has resulted from six years of complete Republican control in Wisconsin. The latest ‘Gold Standard’ job numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show Wisconsin wages fell by 1.3 percent in 2016 as the state lost 3,784 manufacturing jobs and dropped to 33rd in the nation for private sector job creation.

jennifer-shilling“Too many good-paying jobs are leaving Wisconsin as Republicans cut funding from local schools, increase health care costs and ignore our crumbling infrastructure,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “How are families supposed to make ends meet when wages are falling and the cost of housing, child care and student loan debt continue to rise? Republican policies that take money away from workers and reward companies for outsourcing jobs are driving our state toward another disastrous economic recession.”

In 2016, overall private sector wages declined sharply in Wisconsin by 1.3 percent and the state posted its weakest job numbers since the 2008-09 recession. Manufacturing, one of Wisconsin’s key economic sectors, has been hit particularly hard over the last six years of Republican control. In 2016, Wisconsin lost 3,784 manufacturing jobs and saw average manufacturing wages decline significantly by 4.4 percent.

“After six years of Republican tax breaks for the wealthy, Wisconsin families, businesses and communities are in a much worse position,” added Shilling. “We need to stop the attacks on working families and start investing in proven, pro-growth policies that expand economic opportunities and strengthen our middle class. Democratic solutions to invest in safe roads, expand health care access and reduce student loan debt are needed now more than ever.”


Larson Unveils Campaign Integrity Package PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 11:31

PAY TO PLAYWe have a right as citizens to have a strong voice in our democracy and not to be buried by the bags of corporate special interest money that are now free to be dumped into Wisconsin campaigns.

MADISON - Assembly and Senate members and clean-government advocates joined Sen. Larson today to unveil a “Campaign Integrity” package that promotes open and transparent government. Senator Chris Larson had the following remarks regarding the proposals, which have been circulated for co-sponsorship.

chris_larson“Wisconsin was once a state admired for tough campaign finance laws that protected both our public voice and the integrity of our political process. Those laws have been eroded and are no longer effective. This can be clearly seen by the Wisconsin campaign spending increase from $16,930,606 in 2014 to $28,086,673 in 2016 (see attached graph).

“It is our right as citizens to have a strong voice in a healthy democracy and not to be buried by the bags of corporate special interest money that are now free to be dumped into Wisconsin campaigns.

“Given the attacks on our democracy and the rapid moves to legalize corruption by Walker and legislative Republicans, we’re putting forward eight clean campaign bills that would put Wisconsin back on the right side of history. These bills are backed by advocates for clean and transparent government, including the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and Common Cause in Wisconsin. These nonpartisan watchdog groups were among the first to sound the alarm over the danger of the Republican gutting of our Chapter 11 campaign finance laws. In fact, these eight bills reflect some of the most egregious problems with our campaign finance laws that these groups have identified.

“Continuing to let powerful special interest groups and wealthy corporations have an oversized financial stranglehold on Wisconsin elections is a betrayal of our shared values. The Campaign Integrity package will restore our neighbors’ faith in our democracy and promote fairness in our campaign finance rules.”

The deadline for signing on as a co-sponsor to this package is June 21. A summary of each of the eight bills is attached.

Tax Credit Pays Off For Job Cutters PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Janet Bewley, State Senator Dist 25   
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 10:36

walker-open-businessHandouts to so-called "job creators" under the manufacturing tax credit not working. It’s time to put working taxpayers first, says Sen. Bewley.

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