Working families have been attending Joint Finance Committee budget hearings with our budget summary in their back pocket to sound the alarm on many of the harmful proposals outlined in the budget.
Our voices are working!
On Thursday, the Joint Finance Committee identified 83 non-fiscal policy items in Walker’s budget and pulled them from the budget to be passed in separate bills by the legislature. The good news is some of the bad proposals outlined in our budget summary have been pulled. The bad news is many harmful proposals still remain in the budget and the pulled proposals could be passed by the legislature in separate legislation or slipped back into the budget at any time.
We must stay vigilant and keep the pressure on! Keep attending budget hearings, voicing your opposition to Gov. Walker’s budget.
Some bad proposals that were pulled from the budget:
· Repealing Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage
· Weakening Due Process for Discriminated Workers
· Eliminating the annual hours of instruction for public and voucher K-12 students
· Eliminating Annual Voucher School Reporting Requirements to DPI
· Creating the undemocratic Occupational License Review Council, which could have eliminated all license requirements for occupations and professions across the state
· Eliminating the Plumbing Council & the Automatic Fire Sprinkler System Contractors and Journeyman Council
· Allowing Students to “opt out” of paying a UW Student Fee, setting up a “Right to Work” like system for students at all UW campuses
· Prohibiting municipalities from utilizing Project Labor Agreements
Bad proposals that still remain in Gov. Walker’s 2017-2019 budget:
· Destroying checks and balances for workers by eliminating the LIRC (Labor and Industry Review Commission)
· Tying increased public school funding to a full compliance with the union-busting Act 10 requirements
· Cutting the farm-to-school program that connects local Wisconsin farmers with school cafeterias across the state, bringing fresh, local produce into schools
· Transportation funding, or lack thereof, remains a problem; JFC has yet to commit to securing a reliable source of funding like indexing our gas tax to inflation
· Cut and gut the Department of Natural Resources, eliminating 43.5 full-time jobs and raising camping fees and park admission
· Manipulating tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Homestead Tax Credit for working families
· Rolling the dice on health care coverage for state employees
· Tax giveaways to the super-rich. Gov. Walker’s budget continues to create tax loopholes for the wealthiest tax fliers in Wisconsin, costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars per year
· Cutting funding for Dementia care and patient outreach that connects families with vital resources and support
· Eliminating court reporters for workers’ comp cases
· Eliminating the exam requirement for journeyman electricians, journeyman plumbers, journeymen fire springer system fitters and journeyman automatic fire sprinkler system contractors
· Consolidating power in the Governor’s office by moving over 400 Human Resource positions to the Department of Administration (DOA) a direct extension of Gov. Walker’s office
Three more public hearings are planned around the state. Attend a budget hearing near you to voice your concerns or call and write to your legislator about the many remaining and very dangerous proposals in Gov. Walker’s budget.
April 18: Washburn County
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Spooner High School Auditorium
801 County Highway A
Spooner, WI 54801
April 19: Pierce County
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Ellsworth High School Gymnasium
323 West Hillcrest Street
Ellsworth, WI 54011
April 21: Marinette
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Marinette High School Auditorium
2135 Pierce Avenue
Marinette, WI 54143
For today, this is a small victory for working people – a victory due to all of the work you have done to speak out on these bad budget proposals across the state. We applaud the decision by the JFC to remove these items from the Budget. However, there still are many items that are of concern to working people and we will continue to monitor these proposals.