Contact: Sen. Hansen

(Madison)–Whether it was leaving crucial gun safety laws out of the school safety debate, failing to pass Dark Stores legislation that would protect homeowners from property tax increases or passing any number of bills that could have helped Wisconsin residents refinance their student loans, save for their retirement or providing funds for rural communities to create jobs, Senate Republicans failed Wisconsin workers and their families said State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay).

“This session really was a complete failure when it comes to helping grow our middle class, strengthen our rural economy or protecting homeowners from massive increases in their property taxes,” said Hansen.

“Whether it was passing the largest giveaway of taxpayer dollars in our state’s history to Foxconn, refusing to bring up legislation that closes the Dark Stores loophole that would prevent giant retail chains from shifting their share of property taxes onto homeowners, or continuing their assault on Wisconsin’s clean air and water, Senate Republicans chose their corporate donors over the needs of their constituents time after time.”

One of the most puzzling questions is why Senate Republicans killed Governor Walker’s plan to provide $50 million in funding to rural communities to help them create jobs. The bill passed the Assembly but Senate Republicans refused to take it up on the last day of the session.

“It’s truly baffling. A lot of people in those rural communities voted for President Trump and helped put a number Republicans in the State Senate over the top in 2016. Senate Republicans had no problem giving over $3 billion of taxpayer money to Foxconn to help create jobs for people in Southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois. But today they said that $50 million was too much to spend to help put people to work in our rural communities. That’s less than a drop in the bucket compared to what they gave to Foxconn.”

In the closing hours of the session, Senate Republicans voted against common sense gun safety laws including reinstating the 48-hour waiting period, banning bump stocks and keeping guns out of the hands of people convicted of domestic violence.

“The school safety bill doesn’t address the real change that is needed; doing everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. This might have been the biggest failure of the Republicans since Walker was elected in 2011.”

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