MADISON-On Wednesday, February 8, Governor Scott Walker introduced his 2017-2019 budget proposal to the Wisconsin State Legislature. Following the budget address, Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) issued the following statement:
“The last six years of Republican control have been hard on Wisconsin. Our roads are crumbling. Our local K-12 schools, universities, and technical colleges have been hit with 6 years of devastating cuts. Students are facing loan debt that will stay with them for years and years. Families are struggling to pay child care costs. Businesses are struggling to find employees with the skills needed to fill key positions.
“My Democratic colleagues and I have consistently pushed for greater investment in K-12 schools, universities, and technical colleges. We have pushed for student loan debt reform that actually works and allows recent graduates to be more active participants in the economy. We have pushed for tax policies that help middle class families and help our poor citizens reach the middle class. We believe in hard work and fair opportunities for everyone, not just tax breaks to the wealthy.
“Like families throughout Wisconsin, we need to make difficult budget decisions that reflect our priorities. I am pleased that Governor Walker has finally seen fit to invest in K-12 and higher education. We know that quality education at all levels is a driving force behind economic growth, and the research that comes from our universities can create new industries. The last six years have demonstrated a lack of vision for our economic future. While this budget doesn’t come close to addressing the magnitude of these cuts to education, it is a positive step.
“Another difficult but absolutely crucial decision that will have to be made before the budget is signed into law is how to address Wisconsin’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. A recent audit showed that our roads have gotten worse since 2010. We cannot have a strong economy in Wisconsin without good, safe roads. It is time to be adults and figure this issue out. I look forward to the budget deliberation process and I hope that we can find some long-term solutions to our transportation issues.”