Wisconsin Budget Bill Update

By Wisconsin State AFL-CIO

We wanted to give you a brief update on the Wisconsin Budget Bill. Right now, the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee (JFC) is in recess. The JFC will return at 5:00 p.m. tonight to discuss school vouchers, taxation issues and all other outstanding budget issues.

Once the JFC has voted on a final document, the Budget Bill will move to the State Assembly and the State Senate for debate.

So far, the JFC has made Gov. Walker’s Budget Bill even worse for working families. Last week, the JFC side-stepped the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council and made changes to unemployment laws which will hurt out of work Wisconsinites. Today, the JFC rubber-stamped Gov. Walker’s short-sighted rejection of federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage for thousands of Wisconsinites.

We will continue to keep you up-to-date as the Budget Bill winds its way through the JFC, the Legislature and finally the Governor’s desk.

Brothers and Sisters, we must speak out about the bad choices Gov. Walker and his Republican allies are making in this budget. Call your state Senator and Representative to make your voice heard.

1. Contact your Legislators and ask them to deny the last minute unemployment insurance changes added to the budget. Request that representatives follow the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council recommendations. The Unemployment Insurance Council is an advisory board made up of both labor and management groups that work together to create a balanced approach to unemployment compensation rules. It is a time-tested system that should be honored because it takes into consideration both the needs of workers and the business community. As you know, thousands of Wisconsin workers lost their jobs during the worst recession in this country since the Great Depression. Now, the Joint Finance Committee is recklessly proposing a nearsighted and self-serving approach to unemployment compensation which denies workers necessary assistance in tough times.

2. Sign the petition urging Legislators to expand Medicaid coverage by accepting federal funds made available by the Affordable Care Act. Gov. Walker wants to reject billions of dollars in federal funds to expand BadgerCare. Today, the Joint Finance Committee voted in lockstep with this politically motivated decision expected to cost the state both money and jobs, all while covering fewer Wisconsinites. In addition, the JFC voted to give $30 million to hospitals for uncompensated care while refusing to cover low-income people who need health care. This decision can still be overturned by the Legislature. The Walker Medicaid plan endangers lives and denies needed funds to Wisconsin communities. Access to affordable health care is a necessity, and families without it do not have a fair shot at the American dream!

We will continue to bring you important budget updates throughout the coming days as the Budget Bill makes its way through the legislative process.

In Solidarity,
Phil Neuenfeldt, President
Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on June 04, 2013

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