This week marked the Joint Committee on Finance’s first executive session on the proposed 2011-2013 Republican budget. State Representative Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee), ranking Assembly Democrat on the committee, expressed disappointment with the subservient Republican majority as they moved to approve Gov. Walker’s budget proposal.
“Today, Republicans remained lockstep in their attack on Wisconsin values,” said Rep. Grigsby. “This was perhaps most clear when Republicans moved to block vital programs that even they acknowledged to be successful. This budget is a true tragedy, with the GOP putting special interests first and children last.”
Grigsby referred specifically to Republicans’ decision to deny funding to child support enforcement programs in Wisconsin and maintain various non-fiscal policies that create loopholes for fraud in Milwaukee’s school voucher program. Republicans on the Finance Committee rejected proposals to fund child support enforcement, even though the Legislative Audit Bureau recently uncovered $12 million in available funding at the Department of Children and Families. In addition, Republican committee members made a conscious choice to keep provisions in the proposed budget that will reduce accountability and remove oversight of the use of public dollars for private education.
“Today showed us that Republicans cannot wait to rubberstamp the Walker Budget,” said Grigsby. “The people of Wisconsin can only hope that those blindly approving this outrageous budget see reason and stop the assault on working families.”
Sen. Mark Miller and Rep. Peter Barca, Democratic Minority Leaders also weighed in on Walker’s budget in an opinion piece that the two wrote. (See editorial page for full article). In this piece the two state that, “It’s time to set the record straight: Gov. Walker’s budget, in total, raises taxes and fees. It kicks the can down the road with $2.15 billion in borrowing. And it is devastating for Wisconsin’s middle class.”