Statement from Senator Larson on Passage of Republican’s Backwards Budget

Republicans betray Wisconsinites by passing a state budget that fails to invest in our traditional, shared values


MADISON – Today, Senator Larson released the following statement after Senate Republicans forced through a special interest budget that surrenders to the demands of the most extreme Tea Party factions while making it harder for our neighbors to get to and stay in Wisconsin’s middle class:

“Tonight, Tea Party legislators again returned to their failed slash and burn policies that are bankrupting opportunity in our state and decimating our middle class.  It’s like watching a bad rerun: the glamor is gone, the plot is predictable, the dialog is dated, and you’re just left with bad actors stuck in the past. It’s no wonder they tried to keep the public in the dark with their 999 secrecy motion.

“Once again, Republicans are following Governor Walker’s lead by picking corporate special interests and personal political ambitions over the our traditional Wisconsin values by cutting $250 million from our UW System and doing nothing to address the values deficit they created in education just a few years ago. At the same time, this budget continues to allow more taxpayer-funded, for-profit voucher schools to operate by expanding the unaccountable voucher system statewide, despite the known failures within the system. Under the policies by these Tea Party Republicans we are also dead last in the nation in our investment in children with special needs. To make matters worse, the Republican budget directly attacks hardworking families by diminishing wages for our neighbors who build our schools and bridges.

“In contrast, Democrats offered an exciting vision for Wisconsin that would invest in K-12 educational opportunities;maintain strong university system; andensure family-supporting wages, good jobs, clean air, drinkable water, open and transparent government, and affordable health care.  

“Governor Walker has made it clear he places his own ambitions over ensuring financial security and prosperity for his own Wisconsin neighbors. The choices made in this budget betray our neighbors across Wisconsin by spending a historical amount for big highway projects and choosing to make sweetheart deals rather than creating a better quality of life for the majority of citizens in our state. As a result, Wisconsin’s middle class is shrinking faster than in any other state and we are last in the nation for new business start-ups.

“Legislative Republicans had the opportunity to reverse this and take a leadership role with Democrats to craft a budget that would focus on improving access to the middles class by investing in our shared values. Instead, Republicans rushed to rubberstamp the Walker agenda of doing more of the same – giving favors to special interests and less opportunity for working families.

“This rerun Republican budget is a repeat of failed schemes and extends a values deficit by choosing campaigns over classrooms, highways over high schools, and borrowing over Bucky. It is time to try a new channel.”