MILWAUKEE – Over seven months after vetoing 99 parts of the 2017-2019 state budget, including a provision to allow low-spending school districts to raise more money from property taxes, Gov. Scott Walker today completely reversed course during a bill signing in Muscoda this afternoon. Today, Gov. Walker signed a bill very similar to the budget provision he vetoed in September which allows schools with small budgets or in rural locations to receive additional funding. At the bill signing, Walker also advocated for the state to make additional funds available to improve safety in schools around the state.
“This is a Governor well-versed in political gamesmanship, so you have to ask yourself exactly what’s changed for Scott Walker since signing the budget last year where he vetoed giving more money to public schools starved of resources?” asked Gronik on Monday. “The answer is simply a tough re-election fight lies ahead. Gov. Walker knows that as a Democrat I’m one-hundred percent committed to making public schools the best choice for our kids. After years of starving our schools of resources, attacking the teaching profession, and drastically destroying the quality of public education in our state, the Governor now wants to put up a smokescreen to look like a supporter of public education, but all you have to do is look at his record to know the truth.”
During his tenure as Governor, Scott Walker facilitated one of the largest cuts in state aid to public schools in the history of Wisconsin and supported the appointment of one of his most committed campaign donors, Betsy DeVos, as Secretary of Education in President Donald J. Trump’s administration. During a shocking 60 minutes interview, which aired yesterday, DeVos couldn’t support her claims that school choice has improved public schooling in places like her home state of Michigan, where, similarly to Wisconsin, DeVos’ family members and their organization American Federation for Children (AFC) dumped large sums of money to elect Republicans and other proponents of school choice to public office. According to research done by the One Wisconsin Now Institute, the AFC has poured $4.5 million to influence Wisconsin elections and education policy since 2010.
During that same 60 minutes interview, DeVos declined to oppose arming teachers in the classroom and sidestepped the issue of gun reform altogether. This morning, much like DeVos, Gov. Scott Walker ignored the plea from Wisconsin for common-sense gun reform that keeps our communities and children safe while respecting the time-honored traditions and the comradery of hunting in Wisconsin. Once again, Walker stopped short of a bold stance, instead of calling for the legislature to explore increasing school aid specifically to improve school safety.
“Immediately after the Parkland shooting, I called for swift, immediate action to reform our state’s gun laws in order to keep our children safe because as a parent of two young children I’m not content with waiting to see if my children, or anyone else’s, will be the next victims before taking action on this important issue,” said Gronik on Monday. “Instead of taking bold action, Gov. Walker has only offered lip-service on the issue. If he wants us to take him seriously, he needs to show real commitment to protecting our kids by returning or donating every penny he’s taken from the National Rifle Association and joining my call for bold action on gun reform in our state. I’ll never take a dime from the National Rifle Association and on day one as governor, I’ll push common-sense gun reform that keeps the public safe while not abandoning our shared Wisconsin values. There’s a big difference between our tradition of hunting, and the revenue brought into the state by hunting, and issue of gun violence.”
Scott Walker has taken over $3.5 million from the NRA and still refuses to denounce the organization or return their campaign contributions. As Governor, he’s supported dangerous gun laws like the removal of the 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases that put our kids and the public-at-large in danger of another slaughter in one of our schools or communities.
Andy Gronik believes a Governor should be open and transparent about where they stand on the issues, and he has let voters know where he stands on gun reform and other important issues on his website. He is advancing real plans that will create good-paying jobs, great public education, and affordable healthcare.
“I’m going to take on the NRA, drug companies, insurance companies, major polluters, and anyone else who thinks their interests come before the best interests of the people of Wisconsin,” concluded Gronik. “We need a governor willing to take a common sense approach to issues like guns and fight for what’s right. Good thing — because I’m a fighter.”