School cuts. Road Delays. Corporate handouts.
GOP budget hits local communities hardest while expanding corporate tax breaks
MADISON – In a frantic dash to finalize a state budget – already more than two months overdue – Legislative Republicans passed sweeping plans to cut rural school funding, delay critical road projects, raise taxes on working families and finance the largest state tax giveaway to a foreign corporation in U.S. history. The fractured Republican majority has struggled to fund Wisconsin’s core priorities and support local communities while diverting $3 billion in cash payments to subsidize Foxconn.
“Wisconsin families are frustrated that Gov. Walker and Legislative Republicans continue to delay road projects, limit health care access and take funding away from local schools while prioritizing tax giveaways to a foreign corporation,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Rather than listening to local families and supporting Wisconsin communities, Republicans are using this budget to further rig the economy for the wealthy.”
As a result of Gov. Walker’s historic education funding cuts, state general school aid remains below 2011 levels. The lack of state K-12 investments has forced many communities to increase property taxes through referenda, cut teacher positions and increase classroom sizes. The Legislature’s $18 million cut to school sparsity aid will further complicate budgets for small and rural school districts already struggling to cope with Republican education cuts.
In addition to school funding concerns, Wisconsin’s transportation budget outlook continues to worsen as Republicans failed once again to adopt a long-term funding fix. Rather than addressing Gov. Walker’s $1 billion road funding shortfall, Republicans delayed additional projects, increased borrowing and instituted a new fuel-efficiency tax on hybrid and electric vehicles.
“Democrats stand united in the belief that quality schools and safe roads are key to community growth and economic prosperity,” added Shilling. “We can’t continue to subsidize wealthy out-of-state corporations at the expense of our basic community services. We need commonsense solutions to grow Wisconsin’s middle class, level the playing field and expand opportunities for hardworking families.”