Contact: Representative Robyn Vining
MADISON – The biennial budget passed through the Wisconsin State Assembly today, with amendments provided by the Republican controlled Joint Finance Committee and the Republican Assembly caucus. Amendments proposed by the Democrats to accept Medicaid expansion, properly fund our public schools, invest in our UW System, ensure clean drinking water and a clean environment, and end the Dark Store Loophole were all voted down on party lines. State Representative Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) issued the following statement in response:
“Republican legislators have shown that they do not care about fiscal responsibility. I am concerned that their at-all-cost adherence to partisan ideology has blinded them to the irresponsible decisions they’re making right now in Wisconsin. I am responding today in defense of my constituents.
The fiscally, morally, and politically responsible decision would be to expand Medicaid in our state— to cover 82,000 more Wisconsinites, save $324 million GPR, bring in $1.6 billion of federal tax dollars home to our state, and drive down premiums in the private market. We had a chance to pass the People’s budget— a budget written by the people, and for the people. Instead, the GOP has decided to abandon $2 billion over the next biennium — $1 billion a year —on Medicaid expansion in other states. State residents are experiencing NO return on their investments, because we have not expanded Medicaid.
As I said today in my first speech on the Assembly floor, a budget is a moral document, and a moral document must consider the needs of the people. It’s an honor to serve in the State Assembly and vote in favor of the needs of the people — what was given to us to vote on tonight is a series of missed opportunities. This budget doesn’t see our state for who we are, what we need, and what our people are asking for. People with power need to look into the faces of those they serve, and truly see the people for who they are, and do the work to know what they need. The People’s Budget saw my constituents, it heard them, and it was built as a reflection of the people. The budget passed tonight does not reflect the will of the people — it falls short.”