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Take a Stand Against Islamophobia After Brutal Milwaukee Attack PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Wisconsin Senate Democrats   
Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:32

woman-hijabA man demanded she remove her hijab and beat her. We must stand up against the misguided hate and violence being fueled by a loud but small minority.


MADISON – Senator Chris Larson and Representative Jonathan Brostoff issued the following statement after a violent attack of a Milwaukee woman.

chris_larson“Our thoughts are with our neighbor as she recovers from a hateful, brutal attack. Hate crimes have been on the rise over the past year and, with each one, so has the response from the community to rise up and condemn it for what it is: a cowardly act from fringe individuals who pervert our American values.

“We must continue to stand up against the misguided hate and violence being fueled by a loud but small minority. Keeping America on the path of inclusion and opportunity depends on us standing up against hate each time it seeks to divert and diminish us.

Jonathan Brostoff“Beyond the hateful rhetoric spewed by the Republican president and his followers, real families are in imminent danger. This is not the America we strive for and it is not the history the majority of us want to be written.

“In January, we introduced the Resist Hate Joint Resolution. Over a hundred community members showed up at the press conference unveiling the legislative resolution to show solidarity with our Muslim neighbors. Hundreds more signed the Resist Hate petition. To date, Senate Republicans have failed to schedule this joint resolution (SJR 9/AJR 9) for a vote.

“We can wait no longer. We must, as a state, send a message that hate and violence will not be tolerated.”

****

The Resist Hate Joint Resolution has the support of ISM Milwaukee, Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition Voces de la Frontera, Milwaukee Turners, Inc., the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Veterans for Peace, Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Interfaith Conference of Prayer Milwaukee.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 April 2017 15:59
 
Voters Deserve Say On Voucher Spending PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Janet Bewley, State Senator Dist 25   
Saturday, 15 April 2017 10:09

kids-milwBill proposes same oversight voters have over public school revenue.


MADISON - The recent spring ballot gave Wisconsin voters sixty-five opportunities to cast votes on public school funding requests ranging from new facilities to basic operations. In Northern Wisconsin communities voters were able to approve an increase for classroom education and deferred maintenance in one district and decide against spending on a new facility in another.

Unfortunately -- when it comes to state-mandated spending on voucher schools -- voters didn’t have the same chance. State law mandates payouts to the statewide voucher program, which are significantly higher than the average state aid per student to public schools. And a change in the 2015 GOP state budget takes that higher payment directly out of public schools, leaving property taxpayers to make up the difference if it’s made up at all.

That’s why I worked with three of my colleagues to draft a bill that will give school district voters the same oversight of voucher spending that they currently have over public school revenue limits. Our legislation is simple and straightforward: No funds can be taken from a school district to pay voucher schools unless voters in that district approve in a referendum.

This legislation would not end taxpayer-funded voucher schools. It would simply give voucher school operators and their lobbyists the responsibility to make the case for the quality and value of their schools directly to the hard-working taxpayers and local voters who pay for them under current law.

janet-bewleyWisconsin’s public schools have long been national leaders and are the cornerstones of our communities, especially in rural and northern Wisconsin. These public schools have gone to referendum 334 times for operating costs and another 324 times for debt or new facilities since 2011. Even including modest increases the Governor proposed in his budget, state aid that supports public schools and reduces property taxes will not even keep pace with inflation over that period.

At the same time, and with no taxpayer oversight or control, spending on voucher programs in Wisconsin has more than doubled since the first Republican budget in 2011. Untold amounts are funneled from taxpayer-financed voucher schools to organizations that pay lobbyists to demand ever more from taxpayers. And local property taxpayers lose more to the voucher program than state aid would have brought in.

Voucher lobbyists themselves said recently that property taxpayers make up the difference, and then some, between state aid to public schools and state payments to voucher schools that are $1000-$1700 higher per student in the Governor’s budget. (Imagine how much lower your property taxes could be if the state’s commitment to public school students matched the amount my Republican colleagues pay out per student to voucher schools.)

It’s time for taxpayers to have a say in whether they want their dollars taken out of the schools that have served generations of Wisconsinites very well to fund the voucher industry. As long as voucher schools are being paid for by local taxpayers and districts are forced to face the voters to keep the lights on, local voters should have the same say on voucher spending they have on public schools.

And as long as voucher schools are being paid for by state tax dollars at all, students in public schools should be treated at least as well by their state government. It’s time for the state to step up to the plate the way voters have 441 times for our public schools since 2011. It’s time for the state to stop returning fewer of your state tax dollars per student to your public schools than we pay voucher schools.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 10:19
 
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign 'Koch Brothers Strike Again!' PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 14 April 2017 10:33

koch-brothersKoch Brothers want to wipe out Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law, GOP making it harder to demand a recount in Wisconsin, and more...


MADISON - The Koch Brothers continue their assault on good government and decent wages in Wisconsin.

This time, they’re going after what’s left of Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law:

Koch brothers behind the GOP bill to wipe out prevailing wage

They’re using not one, not two, but three of their funded groups – including a phony veterans’ group! – to try to hoodwink the people of Wisconsin into letting their legislators gut the wages of construction workers on state contracts.

With seemingly nothing better to do, some GOP legislators are also trying to make it harder for candidates to demand a recount in Wisconsin, as we explain here:

Why the “We Hate Jill Stein” bill is bad

I’m off to give a talk tonight at the Jefferson Public Library to a new group called “Indivisible Jefferson County.”

As I travel around the state, I’m constantly reminded of the great organizing that’s going on everywhere.

This bolsters my spirits – and yours too, I hope.

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
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P.S. If you appreciate our work, please send us a tax-deductible donation today by clicking here or by making your check and mailing to Wisconsin Democracy Campaign at the address below. We really appreciate it!

 
WI Democracy Campaign "Good News, Bad News" PDF Print E-mail
State & Local
Written by Matt Rothschild, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign   
Friday, 07 April 2017 14:15

money-behind-politics8 Wisconsin referendums show voters oppose Citizens United, Walker crushes Iowa workers, insurance company gave $44K to Walker, and more...


MADISON - First, the good news: The popular grassroots movement in Wisconsin to overturn Citizens United keeps on chalking up the victories:

Eight Wisconsin referendums all pass opposing corporate personhood

Now, the bad news: Scott Walker has been advising Republicans in Iowa about how to go after working people, with disastrous results:

Iowa takes Walker’s advice, crushes workers

We’re starting to take a closer look at where Walker is giving talks around Wisconsin. For instance, earlier this week, he talked about health care at Gundersen Lutheran, and here’s what we found:

Gundersen Lutheran bigwigs gave $44K to Walker

We also noted that an insurance company, United HealthCare, that is being sued for fraud by the U.S. government has also been pouring money into Wisconsin political races:

Accused insurer contributed nearly $42k to Wisconsin candidates

And when we saw that the Wisconsin legislature was meddling again in the affairs of Dane County, we registered our objections: 

WDC opposes Assembly Bill 109 on Dane County zoning

I hope you enjoy these offerings—and the nice weather this weekend, finally!

Best,

Matt Rothschild
Executive Director
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

P.S. Please send us a tax-deductible donation so we can continue our urgent work. Just click here or send your check, payable to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, to us at WDC, 203 S. Paterson St., Suite 100, Madison, WI 53703.

 
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