Local Democrats Present Initial Response to Walker's Budget Proposal

Last week, Gov. Scott Walker delivered his budget address. Today, local Democrats issued their initial response, including a job creation report card, Medicaid decision analysis and more.

Last week, and Hudson-area state legislators — both Republicans — commented on it.

Today, local Democrats responded.

Roy Sjoberg, co-chairman of the St. Croix County Democratic Party, issued the following initial reaction to Walker's budget in an email sent to Hudson Patch:

This is the initial response of the St. Croix County Democratic Party to Governor Scott Walker’s February 20, 2013 budget address and his 580-page proposed budget for 2013-15.  Our locally elected state officials have stated their willingness to listen to the input from the public, and we are thankful for that, because much needs to be improved with respect to Governor Walker’s proposal.

Job Creation Report Card. 
The test results are in and no spin can twist the facts of the state ranking 42nd out of 50 in job creation during Governor Walker’s term from June 2011 to June 2012, even behind Alabama, as reported in the Journal Sentinel January 2013.  This budget fails to introduce any substantive economic development programs and fails to repair the $72 million in cuts in the last budget for worker training. Governor Walker has cut the vocational technical funding to the 1989 levels and now wonders why we cannot create jobs or fill the skilled positions that are open.

Decision to Turn Down Federal Medicaid Offer to Cost the State $254 Million.
As stated in Senator Baldwin’s letter to the Governor dated February 21, 2013, “By turning down the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in your state budget, you have passed up another opportunity to improve health coverage and bring new jobs to our state.”  Wisconsin taxpayers will still pay our same federal income taxes, but now that tax money will go to pay for our neighboring states’ expanded Medicaid programs. According to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau report two weeks ago, the state could save $254 million through 2020 by fully utilizing the federal Medicaid funding offer.

Turning down the federal Medicaid money is a very poor decision that our Governor has made. We all know that a number of other Republican-led state governments, including Governor Rick Scott of Florida, have realized that it would be the height of folly to turn down the federal government’s offer, especially now that the Affordable Care Act has been reaffirmed by President Obama’s reelection and the Democratic strengthening of its control of the US Senate. 

As a consequence of the Governor’s budget, there will be an expanding number of Wisconsin residents who won’t be able to afford any health insurance. For some of those people, an unexpected accident will occur or an already existing illness will worsen.  For some, it will mean the loss of a farm, a small business, or their retirement savings. Jon Peacock, research director of the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families has stated in response to the proposed budget, “A significant percentage … just aren’t going to be able to afford the cost-sharing of the [federal] exchange.”

If you are resident of St. Croix County and (1) you find that you have lost your eligibility to retain coverage under BadgerCare and are not able to afford coverage as a result of Governor Walker’s rejection of the expansion of Medicaid in Wisconsin, or (2) you are a low income individual who would have become eligible under the federal government’s Medicaid expansion but now you continue to be ineligible as a result of Governor Walker’s rejection, please contact us at the St. Croix County Democratic Party. Your story needs to be heard by our locally elected state representatives so they will better understand the potentially tragic, personal impact of Governor Walker’s budget, if it is left unchanged.  

Budget Deficit to Increase by 29%
Hard to imagine how Governor Walker, in this day of concern over deficit spending, has proposed a budget that would increase the state deficit using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”) in its main account by nearly $600 million over the two years from $2.06 to $2.64 billion, as reported on page 33 of the Governor’s Budget Summary.  There can be no honest and forthright claim that this budget is balanced. In fact, in the February 22, 2013 issue of the Journel Sentinel PolitiFact publication, written by Dave Umhoefer, the Governor’s 2010 campaign promise was declared to be a Promise Broken on their Walk-O-Meter.

Turning His Back on Public Schools.
Governor Walker previously cut public school funding by $1.6B. This budget does nothing to repair the damage. The proposed budget does not add back a single penny to the classrooms. Through a “game-playing” accounting procedure, the budget provides a phantom aid increase to schools of $129.2M, but then through a revenue cap, does not permit the schools to use that money. Just watch, the Governor will claim that he has increased school funding, while in reality, he has not.

But to make matters worse, the budget expands the voucher program, which takes your tax money to pay for the wealthy to attend private schools and leave the public schools to fail.  This action will only continue Wisconsin’s downward economic spiral, which has our state lagging nationally in job growth.

Rejection of Women’s Health Concerns.
By defunding women’s health clinics such as those run by Planned Parenthood, women continue to be treated by this administration as second-class citizens. As a result of the budget cuts, thousands of rural women in this state will be without birth control, cervical cancer screenings and other forms of life-saving health care.

A Democratic Budget Would Look Much Different.
A true middle class budget would provide Wisconsin families with:

  1. A stronger education system by refunding the devastating cuts of last session to ensure our children have access to quality education.
  2. A stronger BadgerCare system, fully funded and truly covering 175,000 more working Wisconsinites.
  3. A middle class jobs plan that increases access to worker training, access to capital for small businesses and incentivizes buying Wisconsin and buying American.

What do you think of the Democrats' reaction? Tell us in the comments.

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Noble Nygaard February 26, 2013 at 01:52 PM
My beloved state of Wisconsin is turning into an island of ignorance and backwards thinking faster than I can keep up with. We are 10th in the nation in negative population growth. Our public education system is falling apart while the ALEC Repuppets are giving more money to “for profit” schools. More people are going to be thrown off Medicaid. Our land grant universities are no longer affordable for most of our citizens. The state is going to sell off its power and heating plants to for profit companies for a short term gain and a long term expense to us taxpayers. We are now a wholly owned subsidiary of ALEC and the Koch brothers. We should rename or state Kochwalkerstan. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all you voters who put you’re your fingers In your ears, close your eyes and rock back and forth saying nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah so no actual facts can get in and keep voting for these politicians who hold that right wing ideology is more important than good governance. Democracy is not easy. It takes hard work. It is incumbent upon us to ferret out the facts and quit buying into everything our politicians are feeding us. It is our duty to question power, constantly. Noble Nygaard
Chadwick February 26, 2013 at 02:26 PM
In all the babble you had only one fact (negative population growth) and that can be attributed to former Governor Doyle and the horrible business climate we had here. Stop reading the Daily Kooks every day and realize that you need to quit believing that without the government everyone would die from disease and starvation. For once in your life believe in yourself and stop relying on govt idiots to get you through the day.
Noble Nygaard February 26, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Yes. I've been been voting for 47 years. I did not vote for Walker. I've seen con men like him before. And yourself?
Carbon Bigfuut February 26, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Well, Playboy Roy did have one factual statement in his "news release". "A Democratic Budget Would Look Much Different." That's a fact - we'd all be broke, and Illinois would look good by comparison.
Noble Nygaard February 26, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Al you ear pluggers should check out www.thewheelerreport.com. It's an amalgam of what our politicians are doing every day. Totally unbiased. If you stare at it for ten minutes a day maybe a fact or two might sink in. It would enhance your arguments tremendously. .
yomammy February 26, 2013 at 03:30 PM
what chad said x1000
yomammy February 26, 2013 at 03:30 PM
country boy February 26, 2013 at 04:54 PM
CB has the right idea here. We can ill afford the lefts' budget. Doyles' administration was one of the most corrupt this state has ever seen and we are still digging out from that financial dung heap. Roy boy, Another spew from the Hudson"community organizer". Your talking points about the budget are a non-player after your shameful library funding boondoggle that you left all the taxpayers stuck paying for. Not following through on your promise to raise funds to support that mess, speaks to your inability to handle things here in the community that you started, yet finger pointing at the state budget. Typical of the tax and spend elitist crowd.....ride your bandwagon and let everyone else pony up after you have left town. NN, I read http://www.thewheelerreport.com most days and it is a good source of info that our local media outlets choose to ignore. Go Walker!
Money Bagger February 27, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Illinois DOES look good in comparison. Facts... A funny thing eh? I don't see Illinois on this bottom 10 list in job creation! http://media.jsonline.com/images/JOBS09G.jpg
Money Bagger February 27, 2013 at 12:32 AM
Yes!!!! Go Walker! Go AWAY... as fast and as far as humanly possible. You've ruined a perfectly fine state!
Captain Midnight February 27, 2013 at 02:09 AM
NN... the ear pluggers won't do any such thing. They are too busy cheering on Walker as he continues his daily task of making Wisconsin a winner in the "Race to the Bottom"; only six more places and Wisconsin will be in a tie with Missisippi. It must make Walker proud to be in such company.
country boy February 27, 2013 at 05:10 AM
MB, Are you and playboy Roy buds? Same m.o. that will lead us into the abyss of fiscal irresponsibilty.
Money Bagger February 27, 2013 at 06:18 AM
No, we're sprouts! Not Buds! What "Country" are you from anyway? Country Boy? The Fiscal Disaster known as Fitzwalkerstan? Things go rotten.. With Koch!
Money Bagger February 27, 2013 at 07:09 AM
If Walker's lips are moving... He's Lying! http://youtu.be/lHZdH4-ybEQ If CEOs Think WI is such a great place to do " business, why aren't the coming here in hoards. You Right Wingers are entitled to you own fantasies but not your own facts. The FACTS say.. It's NOT Working. Faith based Malarky is not reality in politics or in business. http://youtu.be/lHZdH4-ybEQ
yomammy February 27, 2013 at 01:00 PM
Obsess much?
yomammy February 27, 2013 at 01:01 PM
pillls are good. pilllls are goooooooooood...
Money Bagger February 27, 2013 at 03:35 PM
yomammy: Better cut back.. Those pills are addling your brain!
Chadwick February 27, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Money Bagger, Illinois looks good? Oh man, I hope you weren't educated in Hudson or I am switching school districts. Have you seen their debt? Have you read any recent articles about companies planning on leaving because of their new tax structure that went into effect? Is the job creation article the only one you have read this year?
DJR February 27, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Money Bagger. but you do see Illinois in the top 10 for highest unemployment rate! #6 actually as stated by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Wisconsin is tied for #33 on the list. So how good does Illinois look?
Captain Midnight February 28, 2013 at 03:27 AM
yomammy tweets on TWITter. He can't seem to actually post a coherent message, just little insults. Perhaps that what you learn in home schooling?
yomammy February 28, 2013 at 03:08 PM
as opposed to longer, more articulate insults....
Captain Midnight March 01, 2013 at 04:26 AM
Exactly, yomammy, exactly.
Don't tread on me March 11, 2013 at 01:44 AM
It's "hordes", not "hoards" idiot. Are you a product of Wisconsin public schooling?
Don't tread on me March 11, 2013 at 01:49 AM
btw, stealing Romneys' come back line to Obama (from the first debate) doesn't impress


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