Citizen Input Provides Important Details of Conservation Budget Cuts
By State Senator Kathleen Vinehout
"Why is it I keep hearing more about what’s in the governor’s budget?” the woman asked me. “Don’t you see it all at once and then decide what to do?”It can be difficult for legislators to know the full effect of cuts without the critical input of citizens.For example, news of cuts to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) made its way to western Wisconsin. Constituents communicated back to me the effect of these cuts. Through emails, phone calls ...
Sen. Kathleen Vinehout: State's debt growing, not shrinking, under Scott Walker
April 29, 2015 10:30 am • KATHLEEN VINEHOUT | Democratic state senator from Alma
"I’m okay with the cuts,” the man wrote me. “It’s shameful to pass debt on to our children.” In the man’s message, he implies a common misconception about Wisconsin — there is no state debt.
Wisconsin owes a lot of money and the state budget proposes we borrow even more. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported in January that the state owed about $13.8 billion. This is ...
CAN YOU IMAGINE CLOSING ALL NEIGHBORHOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
By Joyce Luedke
Can you imagine closing all neighborhood public schools in a city and replacing them with 40 different privately managed charter schools, a Recovery School District, funded by taxpayers?
Can you imagine no centralized oversight of these 40 different entities to guarantee that the needs of all students are met?
Can you imagine firing 7,000 school personnel and replacing 4500 teachers with unlicensed personnel holding alternative certificates who have no training in child development, ...
Looking at the budget debates going on in Wisconsin and nationally it is hard to understand the conservative positions. Their destructive, short- sighted, and counter-productive agendas are simply “penny wise and pound foolish.” Why are they obsessed with cutting successful programs that cost pennies in comparison to the social and economic benefits?
I am a member of the North Country Trail Association (NCTA). This non-profit organizes volunteers to build and maintain the North Country National Scenic Trail which runs across Northern Wisconsin. The work we do as ...
A Business Owes Nothing in Taxes & Gets a State Check?
"Why doesn’t the press cover what’s happening with refundable tax credits?” I asked the journalist. We were chatting about what I found in the state budget. “Because the press doesn’t understand them,” she told me.“Doesn’t understand them?” I thought. “There has to be an easy way to describe what’s happening...”Imagine if you had no state tax taken out of your paycheck. You filed your tax return but you owed nothing. Now imagine the state sent you a refund check. Wow!
This is like ...