Letter: Vote for common sense priorities in November
To the Editor:
Here are some observations about the state budget from 2009-2011 biennium to now from a report from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Since 2009, the state budget has increased over a billion dollars per year from 65.7 billion to 76.4 billion in the current biennium. Governor Walker and the Republican controlled legislature passed an election year budget for the 2017-2019 biennium that was 4.3% (3.16 billion dollars) greater than the previous biennium.
During this 10 year period, local government and the UW System got less than in 2009. Much of local government aid goes to local roads and streets. The amount not received during the last 10 years could have
resurfaced well over 500 miles of road at 250,000 dollars per mile. Meanwhile, the UW System not only was cut by Governor Walker and the Republican controlled legislature but also froze tuition which is their
major income source. And Correctional Operations (prisons, etc.) has a bigger budget than the UW System.
The K-12 budget grew about 10% since 2009 while the state budget grew over 16% during the same period. Six hundred million dollars was added this year. What isn’t being said by current political ads is that Walker and the Republican controlled legislature cut well over a billion dollars from the K-12 budget since 2009. Because some of that legislation placed caps on schools and local government to raise taxes, school boards have to resort to referendums to exceed the cap to cover operating and other expenses (over a billion dollars are requested by Wisconsin schools in referendums on the ballot this November). And there are now restrictions about referendums. So much for less government.
The biggest increase was over 3.5 billion for Medical Assistance. Remember that Governor Walker turned down Medicaid expansion so rather than a billion dollars or so of our federal tax dollars coming back to Wisconsin, we paid state tax dollars and didn’t get our roads fixed.
It is time for change. Vote for Tony Evers for Governor. His priorities make sense for the people of Wisconsin.