MADISON – The Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee (JFC) announced last week that they are preparing to vote as early as this Thursday to strip 280 items from the state budget. Included in these provisions include community violence prevention grants and gun safety measures.
Senator Melissa Agard (D-Madison) released the following statement regarding the Republican-led plans for gutting provisions to address gun violence from the state budget:
“Broadly, the Republican plans to gut the state budget of life changing and lifesaving provisions shows where their priorities lie – and it’s not with the people of Wisconsin. I will continue to support the budget crafted by Governor Tony Evers, who authentically listened to the needs of the people of Wisconsin.
“With the recent tragic events of gun violence in Green Bay, Oconomowoc, and other cities across our country, stripping the common sense gun safety measures out of our budget makes Wisconsin less safe. We know this is a public health crisis on an enormous scale. Gun violence is a pervasive issue that touches every corner of Wisconsin. Not only is this a public health issue, but a fiscal issue. The cost of gun violence is an economic burden – costing the United States over $229 billion annually. These provisions to prevent gun violence belong in the state budget and should be taken up in budget conversations.
“Too many of our friends and neighbors are suffering. We can no longer kick the can down the road and avoid taking necessary action to save lives. Wisconsinites support common sense gun legislation, let’s get them done now.
“I call upon my Republican colleagues to keep these provisions in the budget and debate them on their merits. While there is no one solution, we must utilize an all hands on deck approach to this reform. Let’s get to work and focus on what the majority of Wisconsinites support. We know that everyone in Wisconsin deserves to live without fear of gun violence. Senseless inaction and flawed logic by the GOP in Wisconsin is irresponsible and dangerous. It is a shame that the Republicans are continuing to play politics with the lives of Wisconsinites.”