MADISON – Yesterday, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) held its final vote on the state budget. Republican members of JFC voted to cut funding for higher education in Wisconsin while providing tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our state. Representative Jodi Emerson (D-Eau Claire) issued the following statement in response:
“Our budget is a representation of our values as a state. I am extremely disappointed that Republican members of the Joint Committee on Finance have chosen to reduce education funding while providing a tax cut that will disproportionately benefit the wealthy instead of taking action to address the problems Wisconsinites face every day.
“Over the last several months, I have heard from countless residents of the 91st Assembly District about priorities including affordable child care and housing, accessible health care and transportation, environmental protection, and education quality and funding. These issues are what we in the legislature should spend our time working to address.
“My colleagues and I have spent months discussing our workforce shortage and what we can do to attract workers and families to Wisconsin. While the recent passage of workforce housing legislation was an important step forward for our state, Republican Joint Committee on Finance members have chosen to take several steps back by cutting already inadequate higher education funding, eliminating the child care counts program, restricting health care access and refusing to expand Medicaid, and failing to fully address environmental hazards. These actions send a clear message to the rest of the nation about the kind of state we will be in the future.
“As elected officials, we have a responsibility to uplift our constituents. We have a $7 billion budget surplus. The passage of workforce housing legislation proved that we can work together to create change for Wisconsinites. We must fund higher education and child care, ensure that Wisconsinites have access to health care, and invest in public safety and environmental protection.”