A Bad Budget for Kids, Families, and Communities


MADISON – The following is a statement from Senator Chris Larson regarding the Senate passage of the 2017-19 state budget:


“We all are deeply concerned about our communities and our children’s future. Yet, Republican legislators chose politics over common sense and rejected amendments offered to the state budget that would have increased funding in every school district in the state, while holding the line on taxes.


“Each and every one of our kids deserves a school that is fully able to meet their needs and that will provide them with a quality education. Unfortunately, this budget again increases the income eligibility for the statewide voucher program. This means less money going to our neighborhood schools as even more taxpayer cash is funneled away to private, unaccountable institutions. These transactions are all done under the taxpayer’s nose without transparency or input by local units of government. Wisconsin families were again denied real voucher school accountability by the Republican-led Senate’s partisan rejection of a Democratic amendment.


“Our family, friends, and neighbors want more health care and financial security, not less. Unfortunately, over and over our neighbors have been betrayed and ignored, at their expense. The GOP rejected an amendment that would have opened up our state’s BadgerCare program to anyone, regardless of income. This 'public option' for Wisconsinites would allow people of any income level to purchase BadgerCare coverage. This program would cost the state nothing, but would provide health care security for our neighbors, yet was killed by the GOP majority.


“Each of us deserve to live in a healthy, safe community. Lead pipes are a ticking time bomb that quietly devastate Wisconsin neighborhoods. Over the past few decades there has been significant research into how harmful lead exposure is for both children and adults. The safety and prosperity of our children is at stake. Wisconsin Democrats believe we must prioritize addressing and preventing lead poisoning in our children. Unfortunately, Republican’s chose to continue to put our kids in danger by rejecting an amendment to immediately invest in lead abatement.


“This budget is a $76 billion betrayal of our values. Sifting through this budget is scarier than sitting through Stephen King’s ‘It.’”