GOP in post-budget damage control mode
Republicans seek distraction from school cuts and corporate tax breaks
MADISON – The unprecedented Republican budget dysfunction that paralyzed legislative leaders this summer is flaring up once again. One month after cutting nearly $20 million in state aid from rural schools, Republican lawmakers Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) and Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) are proposing a new bill that would provide less than $10 million in sparsity aid to schools – half of what Republican lawmakers recently cut from Gov. Walker’s budget.
“After making historic cuts to Wisconsin schools, this latest gimmick highlights Sen. Marklein’s misplaced priorities,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “As a member of the legislature’s budget committee, Sen. Marklein was in the driver’s seat when it came to school funding. Rather than standing up to restore rural school funding, he chose to side with party leaders and cut millions from local school districts while funding Gov. Walker’s $3 billion cash giveaway to Foxconn.”
The decision by Legislative Republicans to cut $20 million from rural school sparsity aid was followed by Gov. Walker’s veto of additional funding for low-spending school districts. As school districts continue to struggle with tight budgets, teacher shortages and growing classroom sizes, Republican lawmakers approved the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S history.
“It’s disappointing that Gov. Walker and Republican lawmakers continue to underfund our schools while expanding tax breaks for foreign corporations,” said Sen. Shilling. “Wisconsin families want to make sure we prioritize Wisconsin schools, Wisconsin roads and Wisconsin jobs before sending billions of our tax dollars to a foreign corporation with a reputation for failing to deliver on job promises.”