Rep. Mark Spreitzer E-Update

July 13, 2015

BUDGET UPDATE

Last week, the State Assembly and State Senate both approved the same version of the 2015-17 Biennial Budget. On Sunday, Governor Walker signed the budget while issuing 104 vetos. The final budget is Wisconsin Act 55.

I voted "No" on final passage of this budget because it cuts public education to pay for private school vouchers, makes debilitating cuts to the UW System, slashes staff at the DNR and our state parks, and fails to secure a sustainable future for our transportation infrastructure. It also leaves uncertainty for seniors and people with disabilities worrying that critical programs they depend on may not be there in the future.

My colleagues and I introduced numerous reasonable amendments to improve the budget, including ones to fully fund our public schools and the UW system, to continue the successful Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program, to keep the I39/90 expansion project on schedule, and to add healthcare certainty for our seniors and those with disabilities. Unfortunately, every one of these amendments was rejected.

I will continue to advocate for quality public education, a clean environment, protection of our outdoor traditions, and a safety net for seniors, people with disabilities, and hard-working families struggling to get ahead.
 

BUDGET OPPOSITION

Although Assembly Democrats vigorously opposed this budget, the majority of Assembly Republicans voted for passage. Eleven Republicans responded to broad public opposition and joined all Democrats in voting "No." I spoke multiple times during the budget debate, outlining what I felt were some of the worst aspects that needed to be changed.

Please click the following links to read the text or watch the video of my speeches on education (text / video), transportation (text / video), and our state parks and public lands (text / video).

Last Thursday, I sent a letter to Governor Walker requesting he veto a number of provisions in the budget. Fortunately, the Governor made the right choice and vetoed the provision that would drastically expand the authority and reach of predatory payday lenders. Unfortunately, the Governor refused to veto last minute attacks on our living wage laws and the weekend.

You can read my letter in full here.

NEXT STEPS

Throughout the arduous, 6-month budget process, I was pleased that so many of you called, wrote, emailed, and dropped by to make your thoughts known on the budget. My office received almost 800 separate contacts regarding the 2015-17 state budget in only a few short months! I hope all of you remain engaged throughout the remainder of the session.

The Legislature will be back in session in mid-September. Until then, I will be focusing on speaking with community members on possible legislation, drafting legislation, and of course, visiting with and listening to constituents.

As always, please know that I will continue to fight hard in Madison for all the residents of the 45th Assembly District. If you have thoughts on state legislative issues, please don't hesitate to contact my office.

420N State Capitol, PO Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
Email: Rep.Spreitzer@legis.wisconsin.gov Ph: (608) 266-1192

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