Democrats Critical of Budget, School District Cuts
While Governor Walker is traveling the state touting the benefits of the recently signed state budget, Democrats say the document promotes Walker's friends while leaving many behind.
In a prepared address, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says the budget forgets much about Wisconsin's past.
"Our public schools, universities and technical colleges have struggled with cuts at a time when we need stronger job training and collaborative research to rebuild our Wisconsin economy. People are losing or struggling to have health care benefits...and the most well-connected special interests have gotten a seat at the table."
Representative Janet Bewley from Ashland, whose district includes Lac du Flambeau, says Republicans claim they increased school funding, but they only returned about 10 percent of what was in the budget two years ago before $1.7 billion were cut. She says Northwoods school districts will see another reduction.
"So if you look at the Rhinelander school district...15 percent reduction this year...this year. So not all school districts are fairing as well as some would want you to believe. We have a long way to go before school funding is restored to earlier levels."
Bewley says taxes and deficits are not fixed.
"Their property taxes are going to go up. That is the conclusion drawn up by the (non-partisan) Legislative Fiscal Bureau. That we do have or will have a structural deficit of half a billion dollars..."
When asked about a deficit, Governor Walker in Rhinelander Tuesday said the growing economy would take care of the problem.