GOP reps can't claim credit for UWSP help. They boast about UWSP paper-making machine, but what about devastating budget cuts?

Letter to the Editor by Rep. Katrina Shankland

 

I read with great interest the article about University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point's paper-making machine in the Stevens Point Journal on June 2. Amid the disastrous $250 million cut to our universities that Republicans passed, I am pleased that the paper-making machine will continue to be funded. This was a community effort, and I am glad we succeeded in saving this important program.

 

 
That's why I was shocked to see Rep. Scott Krug and Rep. Nancy VanderMeer named as the legislators who "made the request." In fact, Krug's press release title read: "Finance Committee passes motion I authored to continue ongoing operation of UWSP paper making machine."
 
If Krug and VanderMeer want to take credit for a budget motion that they authored, then they should have to answer for the devastating effects it will have. The same budget not only cuts our universities by $250 million, but also destroys shared governance and tenure. Shared governance values the role that students, faculty, and staff play in leading campus operations and programs, and tenure allows universities to recruit and attract the best and brightest educators and researchers. If Krug and VanderMeer are truly responsible for authoring part of the UW omnibus motion, then they should explain why they support the $250 million cut and oppose student and faculty rights.
 
If Rep. Krug and Rep. VanderMeer claim credit for the part of the budget motion pertaining to the UW System, then they should also stand behind the the UW omnibus motion that guts the UW System of shared governance, tenure and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. They can't have it both ways.
 
My No. 1 priority is to serve the people of central Wisconsin and fight for them in this budget process and beyond. True leaders would spend less time trying to trick their constituents, and more time getting things done.
 
Rep. Katrina Shankland, D-Stevens Point, represents the 71st Assembly District in Portage County and serves as the Assistant Assembly Democratic Leader.