Details Buried Deep in Budget Affect Students and Voters

Kathleen Vinehout
April 1, 2015
 
Details Buried Deep in Budget Affect Students and Voters
By
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“I didn’t know that was a part of the state budget,” the parent told me.
 
That was the reciprocity agreement between Wisconsin and Minnesota to allow students from across state lines to attend public universities at in-state tuition costs. This arrangement saves students and parents out-of-state tuition costs.
 
The governor’s budget removes state funds to pay for the tuition reciprocity program and tells University officials the program is optional.
 
Tuition costs vary at universities. Non-residents can pay as much as triple the tuition of in-state students. Generally the UW system is less expensive for in-state tuition so the program does cost Wisconsin.
 
Without funds in the state budget to pay for the program and in the face of $300 million in state cuts, it is unlikely officials will continue the agreement between the two states.

Iowa is Proof Repealing Prevailing Wage Does NOT Reduce Costs

A lot has been made about the "nonpartisan" Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance's recent and very timely "study" saying that taking away mandatory minimum wages for the workers who build our roadways and other public projects will result in savings of $200-300 million. 

Why?   Because the owners of the companies that build these projects will pass along all their savings in lower  wages right to the  taxpayer in the form of lower bids!  It's trickle-down government!

Memo to Wisconsin's star chamber: Just the facts, please

Those of you old enough might remember the disclaimer that accompanied every episode of TV's 1950s-'60s police show, "Dragnet." A narrator would entone: "The story you are about to see is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent." That also roughly describes one of the reasons Wisconsin law has enshrined the John Doe investigation, a kind of closed grand jury process, minus the grand jury.

We're Number One! Thank you Governor Walker!

The recent blog from the Business Cheat Sheat lists “5 States where the Middle Class is being buldozed."

Wisconsin: -5.7%

The clear winner (or loser) in the race to the bottom has been Wisconsin, losing 5.7% of its middle households since 2000. Average median income has dropped by roughly $9,000 annually, and costs of living have gone up as well.

Rebuilding the Uppitywis Calendar - Update

Calendar

You may have noticed that since our Drupal 7 transition the calendar has been pretty sparse.  There are multiple reasons for this, some of which are more political than technical.

In any case - we're interested in building in a new calendaring infrastructure.   It's next on the list of site improvements, along with a readable list of bills in the state legislature.  I'd like to ask for your help.

Update -- We've started importing some events from the county parties around the state - this is an experiment, but we'd like to see a common calendar for progressive events in Wisconsin, and we're starting to work on that. Some of this is challenging since most sites don't have importable calendars, and some of the ones that do are subtly broken (time zones are always difficult). 

Walker's latest fundraising appeal gives chutzpah a bad name.

It is standard operating procedure for politicians seeking an office to point out the current administration’s failures and make it campaign fodder.

But it takes some real brass to point out a successful policy and promise its repeal as a fundraising gimmick.

Scott Walker used the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to send out an appeal to his supporters by calling the act a failure and to send him money to help him “spread the message.”

Walker and Menards: Gov's dark money exploits worse than previously reported ... $1.5 million worse

Michael Isikoff, pictured here, is an award-winning national investigative journalist who has worked for Newsweek, NBC, the Washington Post and other news media. Yesterday Isikoff broke a literally huge Scott Walker story. His report shows just how reckless and damaging the U.S. Supreme Court's recent "money is speech and anonymity is cool" rulings on campaign finance have almost by themselves turned our democracy into a kleptocracy and even oligarchy. And how Walker is at the heart of darkness.

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