State Representative Jill Billings commented on Governor Scott Walker's State of the State speech Tuesday night.
“While speaking tonight, Governor Walker presented a view of Wisconsin that was surprisingly and uniquely optimistic, in that it was highly skewed and glossed over the many challenges Wisconsin faces – challenges created by Governor Walker and legislative Republicans’ self-serving policies,” said Rep. Billings. “Last year, legislation was passed to take more rights away from workers, further damage women’s access to health care, limit transparency in government, and slash resources to our most important public programs – like our public schools and universities.”
“All-the-while, middle-class Wisconsinites were waiting for legislative change to help them and their families. As we continue to fall behind our Midwestern neighbors and watch job growth slip, Republicans ignored sensible legislation to repair our economy in favor of divisive, partisan proposals to serve their special interests.
“We’ve already started to see the effects of Republicans’ bad budgeting. Schools are falling behind, our transportation systems are crumbling, and our workers suffered record high layoffs.
“Gov. Walker offered anemic proposals at best to address the most important issues facing Wisconsinites, such as student loan debt. Walker’s ‘college affordability’ proposal will not help the majority of Wisconsinites with student debt, and offers minimal solutions for a small group of borrowers. With 815,000 Wisconsinites facing an average of $23,000 in student debt, this proposal is plainly unacceptable.
Conversely, Wisconsin Democrats proposed ideas to re-invest and revitalize the economy under the “15 for 15” bill package. One piece of legislation in the package involved the “Higher Ed, Lower Debt” proposal to make meaningful reforms for Wisconsinites with student loan debt. None of the bills were passed by the Legislature.
“Failing to competently address the issues our state faces will not make them disappear. Going into 2016, I will continue to push for commonsense reforms to fix the very real issues our neighbors and families face. Because of Governor Walker’s policies, our state has fallen backwards. But with changes in policy, and sensible decision making, I am confident that we can get back up.”