Friday, October 26, 2007

Doyle, the legislature and the state budget

Y'know how it's always said that watching legislation get crafted is like waching sausage getting made?

With the state budget, we didn't even get to see how gross it really was. Everything was done in secret and in the end members of both houses of the legislature voted on a massive bill they hadn't read.

All in all, it's not a very good budget for those of us living in urban areas. It passed only because it was too late to do anything but vote for it.

The budget does not include a shared revenue increase, which is essential for cities. The budget is an absolute bonanza for road-builders, but again shortchanges transit (it provides more than Gov. Doyle proposed, but that's not saying very much at all). The piddling funding levels it provides for handicapped and disabled transportation bring shame to the state. Hey, guys and gals, oil just hit $92 a barrel and we're at war over the stuff. You might try re-thinking your philosophy some day.

The budget takes school aids away from poor districts and sends them to rich ones. It does not provide a solution to the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program funding mess, a state-imposed rip-off of Milwaukee homeowners that increases their property taxes for schools, but that does not provide the per-pupil student aid for private school students in the program that helps offset property taxes for other publicly-funded schools. It's a unique financial burden visited upon only the residents of Milwaukee.

The Legislature, which rejected the governor's proposal for the state to fund at least some of the Choice students, decided that giving $7 million to Milwaukee to offset the $54 million Choice tax was good enough for city taxpayers.

Whadda joke.

Judy Robson lost her job as Senate majority leader over this, and deservedly so. The Senate Dems played a long, painful game of "giveback" to the Republicans during budget negotiations that just hurt to watch. Despite repeated cave-ins, the Dems couldn't give enough away to satisfy the Republicans. It's just too bad Robson's colleagues couldn't do their gut-check before the citizens of the cities of the state of Wisconsin had this particular lead weight wrapped around their necks.

4 comments:

John P said...

How much of my tax money is enough for you? Taxes increased over $1 billion and that is still not enough for you people.

capper said...

John P.

How much of our taxes are enough for you? $1 billion is what, a week in Iraq. At least the money spent here, stays here, and offers some return in services, quality of life, etc. The money that is pouring into Iraq gives Blackwater, scorn from the rest of the world, and oil selling at over $90 a barrel. Which is the better bargain John?

Anonymous said...

Ah, "tax payers" WAHH!!!! WAHH!! I pay too much!!! WAHH!!!

Well said capper. Some just need to stop thinking about their taxes and think where the money goes.

John P said...

Capper:

First of all, Iraq is a FEDERAL issue not a state issue. I am against all of the money we are spending there, that is a seperate issue. Please stop with your left talking points, it really gets tiresome. Oil selling at $90 a barrel is called the free market, well not really free since there are cartels involved. Maybe we should increase oil production/exploration in this country, but of course, the environmentalists and liberals will scream at that. In addition, I can always elect to purchase less gas and buy a more fuel efficient car.

What bargin are we getting in Wisconsin. The roads by me are not any better than in Illinois or Iowa, etc. MPS is terrible school system. I have lived in 5 other states and Wisconsin is not better than any of them.

I do not mind paying taxes, as long as it is being used correctly. I have read the State budget, have you? Much money is being spent on pork and pet projects.

Between Federal, State and local taxes at least 40% of my income is going to pay for this. I repeat, this is not enough for you? I am not even counting all of the other taxes (gasoline, sales tax), I pay.

Annonymous:

Be a grown up and do not hide behind the Anoy tag. I know where the money goes, and I do not like it.