Wisconsin’s Future Demands Sustainable Solutions

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker delivered his eighth State of the State Address this afternoon. In response, Representative Peter Barca (Kenosha/Racine) issued the following statement:

“Now more than ever we need sustainable solutions, not election-year illusions. We have serious issues that will affect Wisconsin’s future prosperity that absolutely must be addressed.

Unfortunately, the governor’s focus is on his re-election versus bringing forward sustainable solutions. This is perhaps most apparent in our roads and infrastructure. US News & World Report recently rated Wisconsin as having the second worst roads in the entire nation. This must be corrected for the sake of our future development.

In the arena of education, employment, and training we have not made adequate investments, and K-12 funding has not even kept up with inflation. We hear from employers who are telling us they have jobs available that they cannot fill. This investment is critical to our economic future. It should be our number one priority.

Part of the reason we do not have the resources we need for these issues is the governor has mismanaged our healthcare system. Governor Walker has turned down $1.1 billion in federal funds for healthcare, meaning Wisconsin taxpayers are making up the difference. The additional federal funds could have been used for essential investments in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and employment training. By the end of the biennium, this decision will cost the state $2.8 billion.

My Democratic colleagues and I have offered solutions to each and every one of these areas, but unfortunately as the governor’s address shows, he is not offering sustainable answers to these challenges.”

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