Monday, June 27, 2011

As Walker signs Hopper’s radical, job-killing budget local residents protest to say “Enough!”

As Walker signs Hopper’s radical, job-killing budget local residents protest to say “Enough!”
Local 18th Senate District community members stand united against Hopper’s extreme state budget

OSHKOSH – With the stroke of his pen, Gov. Scott Walker yesterday signed into law an extreme, job-killing budget that was co-authored by Joint Finance Committee member Sen. Randy Hopper. Today, the community of the 18th Senate District stood together to protest the terrible decisions and attacks on working families that are in their budget.

“Randy Hopper was able to heavily influence the final budget that Walker signed yesterday. In the end, he turned his back on the families of his district,” said Mike McDowell of Fond du Lac. “He helped Scott Walker write a budget that is out of touch with Wisconsin values. It cripples public education, raises taxes on hard-working families while cutting taxes for wealthy investors like Randy Hopper and out-of-state corporate interests.”

Despite thousands of phone calls, emails and letters calling for a more humane and fair budget, Walker and Hopper ultimately decided to ignore their constituents and instead move forward on a budget that makes historic cuts to all levels of public education, limits access to affordable healthcare and raises taxes nearly $70 million on seniors and working families. At the same time, the budget includes hundreds of millions in giveaways to the super-rich and out-of-state corporations.

“Unemployment is rising in Wisconsin and the bad choices Walker and Hopper made in this budget are only going to make it worse, despite Hopper’s empty cheerleading and outright lies about taxes,” said Steve Lord, a resident of Oshkosh. “Instead of job-creating policies that put people back to work, Hopper pushed an agenda that gives tax breaks to wealthy investors like himself and attacks the middle class working families he should be defending.” 

With unemployment rising across Wisconsin last month, rising to 7.1 in Fond du Lac and 6.7 in Oshkosh, the economy will likely continue to get worse now that the job-killing policies in the budget have become law and go into effect. Cuts to public education, especially to technical colleges, tax hikes on working families and the dramatic rollback of healthcare access for low income families will only continue to hurt the economy, hurting therecovery for middle-class families across the state for years.

Basic services such as public safety, recycling and road maintenance that families expect and count on will be facing cuts due to this budget. For example, the City of Oshkosh alone is forced to fill a $803,949 deficit because of Randy Hopper’s budget. With the last two years of cuts the city has already made, these latest rounds of cuts will likely require cuts to direct services.

Lowlights from Randy Hopper’s radical budget for Wisconsin

Raises taxes on the working poor while giving millions away to the super-rich;
  • Changes the state’s combined reporting law, which will allow corporations to write off losses before 2009, a tax break of $46.4 million
  • Gives a break in capital gains taxes for businesses, giving away $36.3 million
  • Changes the Earned Income Tax Credit, resulting in a tax increase on working families of $43.5 million
  • Changes the Homestead Tax Credit, costing low-income Wisconsin families $13 million

Slashes funding for public education programs by more than $1 billion;
  • Slashes funding for public education by $800 million, while increasing funds for private schools by $35 million
  • Strips school districts of $1.6 billion in revenue, forcing layoffs and major reductions in class offerings
  • Reduces state aid to the UW system by $250 million, freezing and eliminating scholarship programs; cuts state funding for Wisconsin technical colleges by 30%, harming Wisconsinites seeking job training

Cuts more than $500 million in critical healthcare programs, depriving thousands of care;
  • Cuts $500 million from Medicaid programs, depriving up to 70,000 people of needed coverage, while removing policy changes from any democratic oversight
  • Caps enrollment in Family Care, harming those most in need, making it harder for seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their homes
  • Strips $1 million/year in state funding for women’s healthcare centers statewide, slashing preventative care
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Paid for by We Are Wisconsin PAC, Phil Neuenfeldt, Treasurer.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s agent or committee.

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