Monday, June 27, 2011

Walker vetoes don’t fix budget

You may have heard last weekend Governor Walker signed the Republican biennial budget bill.

What you may not have heard is that he signed the bill at a private location and refused to take questions from the media. Not surprising, though, because he knows his budget is unjustifiable to the average Wisconsinite. Under Walker’s budget, the middle class will have to work harder for less and the unemployed will have a “cooling off period” before they can collect an unemployment check while the rich just keep on getting richer. Those are not Wisconsin values.

Before signing the budget, Governor Walker made 50 vetoes. So rather than fixing the budget, what did Walker veto? Some of the highlights include:
  • * The Sheboygan aerospace landing pad
  • * Politician’s statements of economic interest will continue to be available on the internet
  • * Daycare providers will not be fingerprinted
  • * Board of Regents will remove certain aspects of the UW-Madison employment plans
  • * Deleted a grain inspection report
  • * Drug Offender Diversion Surcharge Fund report vetoed
  • * Suspended Milwaukee police officers will not be paid
  • * Dog the Bounty Hunter will not be able to practice his craft in Wisconsin
  • * Chewing tobacco will not be taxed based on weight
  • * The Pres House will remain tax exempt 
He had his chance to make this budget right. Instead, Governor Walker ensured the Republican budget is still full of gimmicks, mistruths and talking points that put Walker’s budget far from the document that puts Wisconsin on the path to long term fiscal stability, as they claim. The Republican budget puts more spending on Wisconsin’s credit card, gives billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations over the next decade and balances their budget with one-time fund raids and transfers, all while cutting programs that help the middle class.

If you’d like to read my statement on Walker’s vetoes, you can find it here. If you are just as much of a budget nerd as I am and you’d like to see all 50 vetoes, click here. You’ll see as I do, Governor Walker is out of touch with the struggles of poor and middle class Wisconsinites.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Pocan & Risser introduce repeal of GOP collective bargaining law

Yesterday, Senator Fred Risser and I introduced legislation to repeal the Republican changes to collective bargaining in Wisconsin. To see our press release, click here. Or, check out my video blog on the topic below.

Double click on the video above to check out other video blogs available on my YouTube channel. I encourage you to also follow me on Twitter @MarkPocan. I also regularly post about what's going on in FitzWalkerstan on my facebook page.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Representative Pocan summarizes the Republican Budget

Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) concludes his daily talks about the state's biennial budget. Today, he summarizes the budget and talks about last night's floor vote.

In this video, Pocan pledges that while this is the last episode of his budget series, he will continue to expose right-wing policy through future video blogs.

Stay tuned. Next week, the Assembly is expected to take up concealed carry.

Debunking the dishonest GOP balanced budget, surplus claims

Tonight, I was the second member of the Assembly Democratic caucus to talk about the Republican budget on the floor of the Assembly. I’ve received good feedback from my speech, so I’d like to provide my Assembly floor speech here.

Not to get too policy wonkish, but tonight when debunking the dishonest GOP budget claims, I referenced specific memos from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. People have asked for copies of these memos, so I’ve hyperlinked them in this blog for your reference.

During the speech, I referenced 7 different items. Here are links to the documents with a brief explanation:

1) Republicans have created so many corporate tax breaks in this budget that the Legislative Fiscal Bureau pegs the 10-year cost in reduced revenue to the state at $2.3 billion. (See page 2)

2) Republicans use credit card spending to push $338 million dollars in state debt off into the future, costing us an additional $89.9 million in interest. (See page 2)

3) The GOP budget includes, at a minimum, $411 million in fund raids. (See page 1)

4) In the 2015-2017 biennium, Republicans cost the state $501.7 million in lost revenue because of their giveaways to corporations and the rich. (See page 2)

5) After claiming they don’t raise taxes in this budget, Republicans actually increase fees by $111 million. (See page 1)

6) After giving tax breaks to the rich and corporations, Republicans take away programs that help the middle class with their changes to the Homestead Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. (See page 3)

7) After all their talk during previous budgets about freezing property taxes, the Republican budget will result in $438.8 million in property tax increases. (See page 3)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pocan defends the environment

In today's daily video blog on Scott Walker's Republican budget, Representative Mark Pocan defended the environment and highlighted several damaging Republican actions.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Republican lies in the budget

In this series of daily video blogs about the Wisconsin State Budget, Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) highlights several Republican lies in this budget. These lies include fund raids and earmarks.

To read more of Pocan's writings, follow @MarkPocan on Twitter. You can also find him regularly posting about what's going on in FitzWalkerstan on his facebook page.

Pocan talks about health care

Continuing his daily video blogs about the impact Governor Walker's Republican budget will have on health care, Representative Mark Pocan talks about the differences between how Democrats and Republicans handled difficult budgets.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pocan talks about clean government and consumer protection

Governor Scott Walker's Republican budget makes drastic changes to clean elections and consumer protections. Click below to watch Representative Pocan, the former Democratic co-chair of the state's budget committee, briefly discuss these issues as part of his daily video blog to shed light on Wisconsin's state budget.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why Republicans are fast-tracking Wisconsin's budget

Wisconsin Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) takes a break from his daily talks about the policy in Governor Scott Walker's budget to talk about the process Republicans are using to fast track the bill.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Representative Pocan talks about Walker's education budget

In his third daily episode, former co-chair of Wisconsin's Joint Committee on Finance, Representative Mark Pocan, talks about Governor Scott Walker's cuts to education.

How Walker and Republicans treat higher education

Here's a short summary of how Governor Scott Walker and Republicans have treated higher education so far in this budget.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is not a bad budget...

Check out my new video blog on the state budget.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I see their true colors shining through!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes, a headline is worth a million. As of 10:02 am, today’s online headline of Jason Stein’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story reads “GOP panel votes for corporate tax break” with a subhead that reads “But Joint Finance Committee further cuts credits for working poor.” You can read the story for yourself here.

How much more crystal clear could it be? Republicans are beholden to the “haves” and don’t seem to care about the “have nots.”

Now do you understand why they are intent on rushing this budget through and their Senators are afraid to stand for a recall election?

I’d like to dedicate the Cyndi Lauper song about strength and perseverance to all 12 Repubs on the budget committee. Because I certainly “see your true colors shining through.”