Contact: Mike Browne, Deputy Director
MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross today agreed with Assembly Speaker that there are winners under the Republican written 2017 state budget – private jets, private schools and private equity fund managers. But Ross also noted that unfortunately, the vast majority of Wisconsinites, especially student loan borrowers, lose.
“Private jets, private schools and private equity fund managers win in this Republican budget,” commented Ross. “Meanwhile, student loan borrowers are still unable to get help lowering their interest rates, like you can with a mortgage.”
Among the special interests the Republican budget delivers for are:
Private Jets: The budget doles out $4 million for runway improvements at a small airport to handle private, corporate jets ferrying golfers to an exclusive resort owned by a major Republican donor;
Private Schools: While failing again to make public schools whole after Republicans passed the budget provides another expansion of the less accountable private school voucher program;
Private Equity Fund Managers: The Republican scheme on taxes includes opening up a new loophole for wealthy individuals like investors to avoid paying their fair share of state taxes by eliminating the alternative minimum tax or AMT.
Ross noted that the continuing plight of state student loan borrowers perfectly encapsulates the misplaced budget priorities of the Wisconsin GOP. Even with public opinion polling showing broad support for common sense reform, state Republicans are again opposing efforts to allow borrowers to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage.
He concluded, “It’s simple, if you’re wealthy or a special interest that helps underwrite the political ambitions of Republicans you win in this budget. If you’re not, you’re out of luck when Gov. Walker and Speaker Robin Vos and his gang in the Assembly team up to write a budget.”