Rep. Shankland: Republican Budget a Missed Opportunity to Work Together on Clean Water, Healthcare, and Public Education

For the City Times 6/26/19 Stevens Point News

MADISON – Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) released the following statement in response to Tuesday’s legislative action in the Assembly on the biennial state budget:

“When Governor Evers debuted the People’s Budget in February, I was thrilled by the bold vision he laid out to address the problems facing our state and local communities. He listened to the people and traveled around the state to hear their priorities, and his budget reflected the will of the people. Thanks to Governor Evers’ leadership, we had a significant opportunity to invest in clean drinking water for everyone, to expand access to quality and affordable healthcare, and to fairly fund public education at every level, from our neighborhood schools to our technical colleges and universities.

 “Instead, Republicans rejected bipartisan cooperation, favoring politics over people and choosing to obliterate countless provisions that would have benefited their own constituents. From refusing to expand Medicaid to stripping tens of millions of dollars out of Governor Evers’ clean water provisions and cutting the UW budget in half while several campuses are struggling with severe deficits, they fell short of the real solutions needed to put our state on a strong path forward.

“Actions speak louder than words. You can’t say you support clean water and then vote to gut funding for our drinking water. You can’t say you support affordable healthcare while denying 80,000 more people healthcare while saving the state $324 million. You can’t say you support schoolchildren while slashing 85% of the governor’s special education budget. Today, some remarkably dedicated folks marched 60 miles to the Capitol to ask us for fair funding for our schools so our kids can have a brighter future. It’s clear that we need to listen to them and the thousands of people across the state like them, and that’s why I voted against the partisan document offered by Republican legislators today.

“We could have passed a state budget together that reflects the will of the people, from clean water to quality healthcare and education, but my colleagues squandered that chance. However, I am more committed than ever to advocating for the funding and opportunities that will make our communities stronger across Wisconsin.”