Sen. Chris Larson- (608) 266-7505
MADISON, WI – Senator Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee) offered the weekly Democratic radio address today.
A written transcript of the address is below:
“Hello. This is Senator Chris Larson.
“All eyes these days seem to be on Washington and the Republican attempts to undermine health care, but it’s important to keep an eye on our own backyard here in Wisconsin, where Republicans still can’t agree on a 2017-2019 state budget.
“Under Wisconsin law, we do budgets that run for every two years, and it must be enacted by July 1 in odd-numbered years. If you’re looking at a calendar, you’ll likely notice this means the Republican majority is already two weeks tardy in getting its budget passed.
“This failure to lead has a cascading effect across the state. Right now, local communities and school districts are stuck, waiting to find out how much state aid they’ll be allowed to receive and what might be cut so they can balance their own budgets. In particular, it’s difficult for each of our local schools to forecast their budget for the upcoming school year which will determine how many teachers they can afford to keep on.
“After years of ‘invite only’ town halls and governing, Republicans are at an impasse. It turns out; they’re unable to get to a budget that satisfies all the special interests that are clamoring for their piece of a $76 billion pie (the most spending of any budget in state history). The biggest topic is how much more transportation debt to pile on as they kick the can down our crumbling, pothole covered roads.
“Our neighbors deserve to have a budget that works for them, not one that just caters to the big-money special interest groups that have stacked the deck in their favor.
“Democrats, meanwhile, have put forward several ideas to ensure our budget is balanced and supports Wisconsin working families by leveling the playing field, restoring the much-needed funds that have been slashed from our kids’ schools the last few years, and by creating common sense paths to economic security.
“For our kids, for our future, and for Wisconsin, we can and must do better than continuing to delay the next budget anymore.”