March 15, 2016                          


Legislative Session: Weary End to Session of Tired GOP Rhetoric


MADISON – State Senator Chris Larson released the following statement today in response to the conclusion of the 2015-16 Legislative Session.

“You wouldn’t know that it’s Sunshine Week with the dark cloud of corruption that looms over the current administration and legislative Republicans. While the GOP should be shedding light and increasing public transparency and scrutiny, this session has instead been about corruption, collusion, and corporate cash.

“Simply put, this session was a betrayal of Wisconsin’s shared values, filled with special interest paybacks that benefit corporations and the wealthy, leaving our already struggling families behind. In fact, job growth numbers released just last week show that our state continues to trail behind our Midwest neighbors, and the rest of the nation. What’s more, recently unveiled studies show that in the last couple years Wisconsin poverty rates hit the highest level in 30 years.

“These are the facts. Unfortunately, real, hardworking Wisconsin families are the faces behind the statistics. They are the ones forced to struggle in the failed Walker and legislative GOP economy. These are citizens in our state who are kept awake at night worried that their jobs may be the next ones to be shipped out of the state. These are our neighbors who do not know if they are able to pay their rent or mortgages next month because of their stagnant wages. These are our young adults who face a lifetime of debt if they pursue a higher education. These are our children who are not getting the education they deserve because their schools are intentionally underfunded by state Republican leaders who have given up on them.

“Wisconsinites are not fooled by the irresponsible direction the current administration and legislative Republicans are taking our state. The misdirected priorities and failed policies of the GOP are not going unnoticed by our citizens.

“In fact, over the past couple of months, people across Wisconsin turned their outrage over one of the bad GOP scheme into action. After the public learned about a bill to make it easier to privatize our water systems, referred to as the Flint Water Bill, they organized and pushed back. Republican leadership retreated from the bill – a win that will keep our public waters public. I am proud of my fellow neighbors and colleagues who worked tirelessly this session to stand up against corporate interests.

“In contrast to the political schemes pushed by the GOP, legislative Democrats actively listened to the concerns of our neighbors and offered a clear vision for Wisconsin that would invest in educational opportunities, address the burden of student debt, and ensure family-supporting wages for our hard working neighbors. Wisconsin must again prioritize good jobs, clean air, drinkable water, transparent government, affordable health care, and tackle poverty head on.

“This session, the GOP blindly fiddled while Rome burned. I fear it may take generations for us to rebuild, but I am hopeful we may find leaders with the will to begin soon.”