After another state budget failure, we need a Democratic realignment in Wisconsin
As the leader of a large-scale grassroots group that urged a full veto of the state budgets in both 2019 and the 2021, you may expect me to rail against Gov. Tony Evers’ decision this summer to sign largely intact the GOP’s latest instrument of fiscal sabotage. This is not that column. Endless hand-wringing over what […]
Advocates hold their breath for Evers’ budget announcement
With the deadline upon the governor to either sign, partially veto, or veto the entire state budget presented to him by the Republican-led Legislature, advocates hope Evers will find some way to preserve his vision for increasing support for schools, which the Legislature decimated in the version it sent to his desk last week. “I’m […]
What Democrats want versus what Republicans got in the budget
Republicans’ large advantage in the Legislature — courtesy of their gerrymandered district maps — means that the focus of legislative action is generally all on the GOP. Their leaders control which bills get considered in committee, which gets a public hearing, which comes to the floor and which gets sent to the governor’s desk. If […]
The perverse stinginess of the Wisconsin GOP
A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education warned Wisconsin that we stand to lose $2.3 billion in federal funds for schools because the Republican-led Legislature’s budget so badly underfunds education that we fail to meet the minimum federal requirements for investing in kids. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated last week the […]
GOP leaders to Evers: We’re spiking your budget, but come talk with us
State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point) finds it ironic that Republican legislative leaders sent Gov. Tony Evers a letter on Monday inviting him to meet with them to “share your plans for the federal funding as soon as possible.” One year ago, a group of 43 GOP Wisconsin legislators sent Wisconsin members of Congress a […]
Evers’ budget moves us toward a better, more equitable economy
For our state’s economy to work for everyone, Wisconsin needs to invest in healthy communities, working families and public infrastructure across the entire state. We also need a tax system that provides a level playing field for Wisconsin families and businesses, rather than a structure that gives an advantage to the well connected who rig […]
Did Robin Vos threaten state education funding due to Underly win?
Speaker Robin Vos caused a stir on his @repvos Twitter account (he has a separate speaker account on Twitter) after Jill Underly won the race to become the next state superintendent. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin supported Underly with significant resources while her opponent Deborah Kerr was backed by Republicans including former Gov. Scott Walker, […]
Will budget season in the state Capitol be a super spreader event?
Imagine if this were the Legislature’s policy for its meetings: “The wearing of pants is highly recommended, but it is not required.” In an attempt to show how ridiculous it is during a pandemic to refuse to wear a mask in the Legislature, where men are required by dress code to wear suit jackets, Rep. […]
Evers orders $250 million in cuts; Thompson responds cuts are hurting UW System mission
Due to expenses related to the pandemic, Gov. Tony Evers has ordered an additional $250 million in cuts from state agencies in the current fiscal year, following on the heels of $70 million in cuts announced in late May. He is announcing his decision even as Congress is expected to convene and pass additional COVID-19 […]
Evers orders current budget cuts — but not furloughs. Yet.
From his time heading the state Department of Public Instruction, Gov. Tony Evers said he knows what it is like to have to cut a certain percentage from a departmental budget. So the order to all state agencies to propose a cut of 5% to their current budgets is not one his administration makes lightly. […]
A tale of two homelessness bills
On any given night in Wisconsin, nearly 5,000 people are homeless and many more are on the brink of homelessness, staying temporarily on a friend’s couch or other short-term reprieve. In winter weather the crisis becomes acute, and it hits areas all across the state, both rural and urban. Of the 4,907 homeless in January […]