Contain yourselves, please!
The Racine Journal Times issued a scolding editorial today on provisions in the budget which undermine local municipal control - without pulling one of their patented passive aggressive "but we still don't like Doyle" nullification tricks. Granted, they printed it days after the budget was signed, so it carries absolutely no weight, but baby steps...
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote a rather scathing editorial yesterday, which was unfortunately couched in a URL about beach water making everyone thing they were sharing a bad link. Again...coincidence?
Here it is in full:
Though he holds one of the most powerful veto pens in the nation, Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday scribbled around the edges of a document that is one of the most ideological in memory. The state's new two-year fiscal blueprint still contains a cornucopia of policy that has little or nothing to do with fiscal matters.
To his credit, Walker did veto language that would have made bounty hunters legal again, and he excised a petty, last-minute idea by anonymous Republican lawmakers to evict from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus a student journalism group that had investigated some of them. He also ensured that caps on the new statewide voucher schools program would remain in place.
But the budget rejects millions of dollars in federal aid to expand health care even though it would be cheaper for the state to accept the money and would have meant more poor people received care.
And the budget still contains a sweeping provision to loosen residency requirements for school teachers and city workers. With the city of Milwaukee facing a housing crisis of foreclosed homes and aging housing stock, the Republicans' timing couldn't have been worse. On top of that indignity, Walker had the brass to remove $3.5 million in aid that would have made it just a bit easier for the city to address the more than 800 bank-foreclosed homes and an estimated 950 city-owned, tax-foreclosed properties. Walker's veto of what amounts to a relative pittance makes no sense.
This budget still includes a big tax break for the parents of nearly 100,000 private school school students — yet another partisan shot at public schools.
And while we understand Walker's ideological and political reasons for the hefty tax cut included in this budget (income taxes will be sliced by $651 million over the two years, which will look good on a potential Republican presidential candidate's resume), we'd rather have seen a smaller tax cut so that more money could have been parked in the state's "rainy day fund" or invested in educational institutions.
After Walker's modest vetoes, the budget remains an ideological document that places big bets on risky policies such as voucher school expansion, tax cuts and the end of residency requirements, all of which could remain in place long after this governor has responsibility for them. But, of course, that's the idea.Through their actions, Republicans continue to show they value their political agenda over good government.
In fact, we don't know of any editorial board in the state who applauded the budget overall - if you do, please send it along.