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Walker/Republican Cuts to K-12 and Higher Education Total More Than $2 Billion PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Assembly Democrats, Laura Smith   
Monday, 18 January 2016 12:35

kids-milwNew figures refute Walker claims on eve of State of the State Address

MADISON – New figures show that Governor Walker and legislative Republicans have cut more than $2 billion from public schools, universities and technical colleges in Wisconsin over the past five years. These figures come from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB).

Funding cuts under Governor Walker and Republicans include:

  • K-12 Public Schools – $1.05 billion lost in GPR school aids
  • University of Wisconsin System – $795 million lost in state aid
  • Wisconsin Technical College System – $203 million lost in state aid

peter_barca“The cuts imposed by Republicans to our K-12 public schools, universities and technical colleges have done serious harm to our students, our economy and our workforce,” Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said. “Governor Walker will try tomorrow night to obscure the damage the Republican agenda has done to education in our state, but the facts are clear. The governor’s Band-Aid proposals certainly won’t make up for the extremely harmful Republican cuts to education and job training.”

Wisconsin schools and the workforce continue to suffer under Republicans. Media reports detail that Wisconsin companies issued 10,000 layoff notices last year – more than any other year since and Gov. Walker and Republicans have been in the majority. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ quarterly jobs reports show that over the last four years Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest in job creation.

The full LFB memo can be found here.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 January 2016 12:42
Republican Agenda Features Familiar Ideas PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Friday, 15 January 2016 17:29

capitol-dome-mdsnDemocratic proposals on school funding, broadband and student loan debt gain support.

MADISON – With a public approval rating at 31 percent and lingering opposition to Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign, many Republican lawmakers have found themselves in a difficult position. In an effort to shift attention away from troubling poll numbers and disappointing job losses, Republican lawmakers are turning to a new source for policy ideas: Democrats.

jennifer-shilling“For five years, Republican legislators followed Gov. Walker’s lead in cutting local school funding, limiting access to health care and rejecting investments for broadband projects,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “As a result of these misplaced priorities, we’ve seen family wages decline, a shrinking middle class and mass layoffs at a five year high. While it’s taken them a few years to recognize the growing challenges in our state, I appreciate that Republicans are finally looking at Democratic ideas that will jump start our economy and strengthen Wisconsin’s middle class.”

Complicating matters for legislators who want to see progress on these issues is the fact that Republican leaders are planning to adjourn the legislative floor period as early as February or March. This leaves a short window to pass an ambitious agenda and follow through on unresolved promises to strengthen school accountability, overhaul the state’s troubled jobs agency and pass a long-term transportation funding fix.

“Senate Democrats continue to push our comprehensive Badger Blueprint agenda which includes a wide range of bold, forward-looking pro-growth initiatives that invest in education, infrastructure and economic development,” added Shilling. “In order to move Wisconsin forward, we need innovative solutions on student loan debt like Sen. Dave Hansen’s Higher Ed., Lower Debt bill to allow families to refinance their loans at lower interest rates. We need to restore rural broadband investments like Sen. Kathleen Vinehout has championed for years. And we need to restore the funding for rural schools that have seen some of the largest cuts from Republicans in Madison. With a short window of opportunity, we need swift action on these priorities and not just legislative lip-service.”

Walker's Student Loan Package will Hurt State PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Friday, 15 January 2016 15:29

walker_wavesGovernor’s Opposition to Student Loan Refinancing Will Increase Brain Drain as Graduates Move to States like Minnesota for Higher Paying Jobs and Lower Interest Rates.

Two Senators Visit Lincoln Hills PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Thursday, 14 January 2016 12:31

boy-in-docMADISON - Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) will visit Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools with Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd (D-Milwaukee) today. The two legislators will be joined by faith and community leaders from Milwaukee and family members of residents at the facilities.

Early this morning, the two legislators held a listening session on the bus with family members of the residents on the drive to Irma, Wisconsin. Upon arrival, they plan to visit with the kids living at the facilities today from 11 am until 3pm.

lena-taylorSenator Taylor’s previous trip in late December was cancelled due to dangerous driving conditions. Today’s group includes representatives of the clergy and community leaders with experience working with youth.

In 2009, Taylor as the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair took the Committee on a statewide “State of the Justice System” tour, holding listening sessions throughout Wisconsin, including inside of prisons.

Because media are not allowed into the juvenile facilities, the group will make themselves available to the media after their listening sessions.

nikiya-harris-doddWHO: Senator Lena Taylor, Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd, Tina Nixon, spoken word performer from My Sister’s Keeper and Community Advocate Jermaine Reed.

WHAT: Press Conference about their listening session.

3pm today: Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools, W4380 Copper Lake Road, Irma, WI 54442

(In the lower parking lot just off the main entrance)

7pm today: Lee’s School, 921 West Meinecke Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53206

(In the parking lot)

Note: Due to the unpredictability of today’s events, please be patient, as these times may be adjusted as the day’s events unfold. Members of the media wishing to attend are encouraged to contact Craig Trost in Senator Lena Taylor’s office to ensure the group is still on schedule.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2016 17:51
Rep. Bob Gannon's Racially Insensitive Remarks and Obscene Gesture on Assembly Floor PDF Print E-mail
News - Articles for State & Local
Written by GBP Staff   
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 15:51

bob-gannon-MADISON - It happened Tuesday, January 12th on the first day of the 2016 legislative session.

Senate Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) rose to argue with Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger) over a news release Gannon issued last week complaining about Milwaukee’s homicide rate and how more homicides occur in black neighborhoods with high unemployment rates.

Gannon, a Slinger Republican, made an obscene gesture toward Barca, giving him "the finger". The minority leader looked shocked and demanded Republican leaders reprimand him.

The exchange went as follows:

Gannon: “If Milwaukee wants to export something, how about you export safety and jobs? Thank you Mr. Speaker.”

peter_barcaBarca: “It’s bad enough, Mr. Speaker, that this release comes out. If the gentleman’s misunderstood, he can certainly stand up and apologize, and say ‘look, I’m misunderstood. I didn’t mean…’ Did you just give me the finger? Mr. Speaker, I’d like to make a motion to reprimand him! He just stood up — I’m sure WisconsinEye will plainly show him giving me the finger. What is wrong with you?”

martha-laningToday, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning released the following statement regarding the racially insensitive remarks defended by Rep. Bob Gannon and the obscene gesture made by Gannon on the first Assembly session day of 2016:

"Representative Gannon should be ashamed to call himself a State Representative in light of his actions yesterday. It is a sad day when doing the people's work in our state capitol is interrupted by a legislator breaking the most basic rules of civility and decent behavior.

"Rep. Gannon has apologized since yesterday's incident, but his refusal to apologize for his remarks about the city of Milwaukee and its residents remains unacceptable.

"Rep. Gannon should apologize not only for his reprehensible actions on the Assembly floor, but for showing an outright dissrespect to the people of Milwaukee, the people of Wisconsin, and the people's house he is supposed to represent."

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