Lassa: Legislative Republicans Go Home with Crucial Work Left Undone
MADISON – State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) issued the following statement today as Republican lawmakers ended the current legislative session for the year weeks ahead of schedule:
“Republican legislative leaders went home early this session, without doing anything about the issues the people of Wisconsin care about. They failed to restore funding for our struggling public schools, they failed to find a way to repair our crumbling roads and bridges, and they failed to do anything about our stagnant economy.
“Instead, Republicans rewarded their big-money friends and focused on keeping themselves in power. They abolished the state’s ethics and elections watchdog agency, and exempted themselves from John Doe investigations. They tried to gut the state’s open records laws, and made it harder for people to register and vote.
“At the same time, Republicans passed a budget that maintains huge, expensive tax breaks for corporations at the expense of everyone else. As a result, even the few small window-dressing measures they did propose, like the Governor’s much-ballyhooed tax deduction for student loan debt, had to be scrapped because they ran out of money to pay for them.
“Democrats pushed for proposals that would have helped those middle class families in Wisconsin who feel they are falling behind. We fought to help people who are struggling with the crushing burden of student loan debt. We worked to restore funding to our public schools and universities, to make sure Wisconsin has a competitive, skilled workforce. And we offered proposals to help small businesses thrive and create good-paying jobs. Republicans rejected all of these initiatives.
“The results of six years of Republican-controlled government are plain to see. The latest job numbers show Wisconsin slipping farther behind the national average. Those few new jobs being created don’t pay a family-supporting wage. The massive giveaways Republicans doled out to special interests didn’t create greater economic growth. Instead, they led to major cuts to schools, universities, roads, and conservation programs – and they worsened the state’s budget situation, which may mean even more cuts in the future.
“The only good thing about the end of this dismal session is that it gives the people of Wisconsin a chance at a fresh start. We need to return to our traditional values – clean and open government that works for the people, and not just moneyed special interests. We need to take seriously the plight of middle class families who are falling behind faster in Wisconsin than in any other state. We need to rebuild our roads and reignite our stalled economy. Those are the values that Senate Democrats will continue to fight for, now and in the future.”