Sen. Lassa: Budget Will Hurt Middle Class Families

Madison – State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement today in reaction to the passage of the 2015-2017 biennial budget by the State Senate.  The Senate passed the budget by a razor-thin margin, with Sen. Lassa joining a bipartisan group of legislators voting against it.

            “The Wisconsin Senate today had an opportunity to make significant improvements to a budget that contains some of the most extreme and harmful provisions for middle class families I’ve seen in my years as a legislator.  I and my colleagues offered amendments that would have reversed the disastrous cuts this budget makes to the University of Wisconsin and helped bring our public schools back up to the level of funding they had five years ago.  We tried to reverse the attack on Wisconsin’s conservation heritage by restoring funding for the Stewardship Program and DNR scientists.  We advanced proposals that would have helped reverse our state’s dismal performance on job creation and build Wisconsin’s economy.  We tried to reverse the proposal to cut wages for Wisconsin workers and outsource construction jobs to out-of-state companies. The majority party rejected every one of our amendments.

            “It would be bad enough if the damaging cuts in this budget were a necessary response to poor economic conditions, but they are not.   The $2.2 billion budget deficit only occurred because Governor Walker and the GOP majority in the Legislature chose to give massive tax breaks to corporations and refused to take back our federal dollars that would strengthen our state's health care programs, a move that would have saved taxpayers $360 million in this budget alone.  Now everything from our world-class university system to our pristine natural resources are being cannibalized to pay for it.  Legislative Republicans have sold out our state to further Governor Walker’s presidential ambitions, and now the people of Wisconsin will pay the price.