UNDATED (WXPR) -- While Governor Walker is traveling the state touting the benefits of the recently signed state budget, Democrats say the document promotes Walker's friends while leaving many behind. In a prepared address, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says the budget forgets much about Wisconsin's past. “Our public schools, university, and technical colleges have struggled with massive cuts at a time when we most need stronger job training and collaborative research to rebuild our Wisconsin economy. People are losing or struggling to afford health care benefits, and the most well connected special interests have gotten a privileged seat at the table.” Representative Janet Bewley...whose district includes Lac du Flambeau...says Republicans claim they increased school funding, but they only returned about 10 percent of what was in the budget two years ago before $1.7 billion dollars were cut.
She says Northwoods school districts will see another reduction. “If you look at the Rhinelander school district, fifteen percent reduction this year, (emphasis) this year, so not all school districts are faring as well as some would want you to believe, and in fact, we have a long way to go before school funding is restored to earlier levels.” Bewley says taxes and deficits are not fixed. “Their property taxes are going to go up. That is the conclusion drawn by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, that we now do have or will have a structural deficit of a half a billion dollars.” When asked about a deficit, Governor Walker in Rhinelander Tuesday said the growing economy would take care of the problem.