Alternatives

To the Editor,

Public education funding takes a real hit in the budget now being considered by legisla- tors.

At budget hearings I've attended, the reduced funding is a big concern expressed by attendees and the media reports on cuts made by our local school districts so that they can deal with the continued erosion of support from the state.

When I talk to legislators they say they are also concerned. They say they will look at restoring (and maybe increasing the funding) “IF” May revenue reports are good.

But they don’t say “IF” when considering funding for the new Bucks arena or “IF” when continuing the support of private schools through the voucher program!?

The “Wisconsin Budget Project” is an organization that studied the proposed budget and has suggested better choices for the Wisconsin Budget.

They propose freeing up revenue without new taxes.

First…accept the Federal Medicaid funding for Badgercare to free up $345 million. Second… postpone expansion of state tax credits for manufacturers and agricultural producers (this is a 10-year, phase-in law that results in a loss of $2.3 billion in revenue) to free up $226 million. Third, postpone the increase in school levy property tax credit to free up $211 million.

So a total of $782 million would be available over two years and if we refuse public funding of a new sports arena the total would be over a billion dollars! This is more than enough to restore and increase public school funding along with restoring UW funding!

“IF” constituents overwhelmingly contact their legislators to support such freeing up of revenues and “IF” our legislators listen, than these main building blocks of our economy can be funded at a level that will help this state move out of being 40th in job creation and 42nd for wage growth!

Sincerely, John Binder Plymouth


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