One Wisconsin Now & the Institute have established a national media profile, providing a leading voice in the media on both state and national issues. Our organizations have been quoted in national publications including the New York Times, the Nation, the Progressive Magazine, Associated Press, Bloomberg, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and USAToday.
Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign legislation today to allow Republicans to pack state government with political cronies and allow Walker’s hand picked agency heads to put undue political influence on state employees under their supervision.
When the candidates for the Democratic nomination for President debate tonight in Wisconsin, they’ll be appearing in the state with the third highest percentage of college graduates with student loan debt in the nation, according to a recent study by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the contrast between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, both of whom support real solutions for college affordability and student loan debt, and 70-day Presidential candidate Scott Walker, whose policies have driven up debt in the Badger state and who opposes allowing Wisconsin borrowers to refinance their student loans, just like you a mortgage.
State Supreme Court candidate Rebecca Bradley has claimed she would not coordinate her campaign with a political party or outside group and left her “political inclinations” behind, after the first of her unprecedented three judicial appointments by Gov. Scott Walker in just three years. But Bradley’s public statements look increasingly farcical as spending on television ads by a right-wing group, featuring video produced by Bradley’s campaign, hits the $1 million mark and campaign finance reports reveal the Republican Party of Wisconsin has directly provided her campaign with staff and automated phone calls.
Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature have cut over $1 billion from K-12 public schools since taking office and, by the end of the current budget cycle, will have doled out in excess of $1 billion in taxpayer dollars through the private school voucher program to unaccountable private and religious schools. Now, in the final days of the legislative session, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is pushing to get his way with a last minute amendment that adds over $22 million more to the cuts to public schools as part of the voucher school funding scheme.
According to the state Department of Public Instruction (DPI), more private schools are seeking to cash in with public tax dollars during the 2016-17 school year through the unaccountable school voucher program. Under Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature, state law has been changed to allow state school aid to be diverted away from local K-12 public schools to provide tuition vouchers for qualifying students attending private and religious schools. DPI reports that a total of 135 private and religious schools have registered to participate.
WAUSAU, Wis. — At a town hall forum on college affordability and student loan debt hosted by State Senator Julie Lassa and Representative Katrina Shankland at UW-Marathon County today, students and borrowers sent a clear message: it’s time for real reform and not election year gimmicks. Representatives of One Wisconsin Now, a leading advocate for student loan reform, also appeared at the event to present findings from their research on the root causes of skyrocketing student loan debt and the serious economic implications of the $1.3 trillion national crisis.
Gov. Scott Walker and his special interest allies effort to win a term on the State Supreme Court for the historically inexperienced Rebecca Bradley rolls on with more money being poured into television advertising. According to information obtained by One Wisconsin Now, the right-wing Wisconsin Alliance of Reform as added over $419,000 to their TV ad buy, bringing their total spending over just two weeks to nearly $900,000.
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary describes coordination as, “the process of causing things to be the same or to go together well.” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross questioned how Rebecca Bradley defines the word if the same video footage being used by her campaign and also being used by a right wing group running television ads on her behalf doesn’t violate her pledge to not “coordinate” with outside groups in her high court election bid.
Revealing deep concern about the electoral prospects of his crony pick for the State Supreme Court, Gov. Scott Walker’s money machine is buying hundreds of thousands of dollars in television advertising on behalf of Rebecca Bradley. Information obtained by One Wisconsin Now reveals the right wing front group Wisconsin Alliance for Reform is dropping nearly $415,000 on TV ads for Bradley across the state to from February 2 to 8, in advance of the February 16 primary election.
Republicans on the State Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities today voted for a package of bills that will do nothing to reduce skyrocketing student loan debt, while rejecting a Democratic a plan to let Wisconsin borrowers the opportunity to refinance their loans at lower rates, like you can a mortgage or auto loan. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross applauded the committee’s Democratic members, who continued to fight for real student loan reform and voted against Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans’ “do-nothing scheme.”
The reckless spending of Gov. Scott Walker’s Presidential Campaign drove him from the race a mere 70 days after officially announcing his candidacy and left him with a reported debt of $1 million. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinelnews report based on One Wisconsin Now’s review of Walker’s state campaign finance report raises disturbing new questions about whether in his desperation for cash to fuel his political ambition Walker tapped his state campaign account to pay the bills.
Media have debunked another false charge by Wisconsin Republicans blocking the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill which could allow many of the state’s one million student loan borrowers the chance to refinance their loans at lower rates, just like you can a mortgage. The latest involves GOP Rep. Dale Kooyenga, who claimed “A lot of student loans are already refinanced by the federal government,” a charge with Politifact Wisconsin today rated “false.”
Under Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature, Wisconsin has risen to third highest in the nation for percentage of college graduates with student loan debt. A newly-released report earns Wisconsin another dubious ranking — one of only nine states of the forty eight that have adopted their budget cutting funding for higher education between fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The national average for increases in support for higher education is 4.1 percent, meanwhile Wisconsin has the second largest percentage cut in the country at 8.1 percent, exceeded only by Arizona.
Gov. Scott Walker is on a much ballyhooed listening tour, but according to media reports he’s only hearing from invited guests. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said it’s no surprise Walker’s tour is invite only since his agenda features a student debt plan that denies any help to reducing the monthly payments of the nearly one million Wisconsinites with student debt.
In testimony Thursday regarding the need to address Wisconsin’s growing student loan debt crisis, One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross and program director Analiese Eicher reiterated the need for real reforms to help all student loan borrowers, like allowing student debt to be refinanced just like you can a mortgage, and rejected the Republican proposals which will not help to lower borrowers’ monthly payments.
Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans in the State Legislature are fast-tracking legislation they claim helps deal with the student debt crisis and college affordability. But, as One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross pointed out in his testimony to the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, Walker's scheme denies any help lowering the monthly payments of current borrowers.
Wisconsin would be ill-served by more of the Walker administration’s cronyism and corruption and less access to comprehensive health care services for families. But bills to do just that are the centerpieces of the agenda in the Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Senate today that One Wisconsin Now Executive Director called, “radically out of touch.”
In the lead up to his 2016 State of the State speech Gov. Scott Walker has been touting a college debt and affordability initiative. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director summed up the state of Walker’s agenda on the issue, that denies any help lowering monthly payments for borrowers and fails to deliver any relief to at least 97 percent of individuals with student loan debt as, “woefully incomplete.”
Student loan borrowers in neighboring Minnesota got good news this week with the kick off of a state-based loan refinancing program that could save participants hundreds of dollars every month. Meanwhile in Wisconsin, the state with the third highest percentage of 2014 graduates with student loan debt in the nation, borrowers got a new excuse from Gov. Scott Walker for his continued opposition to common-sense refinancing legislation, Connecticut.
As President Barack Obama delivers his final State of the Union address tonight, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin will be joined by a UW-Parkside student as her guest to highlight the student loan debt and college affordability crisis. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the contrast between Baldwin and the Wisconsin GOP triumvirate of Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson, who all oppose common sense plans to allow borrowers to refinance student loans, just like you can with a mortgage.
Gov. Scott Walker continues to oppose a common sense plan that could help hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin student loan borrowers by allowing them to refinance at a lower interest rate. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Walker, whose term in office coincides with Wisconsin’s ranking for percentage of college graduates with debt rising from tenth to third nationally, has come up with his most ridiculous excuse to date for his intransigence on the refinancing issue, blaming Connecticut.
Under Gov. Scott Walker and a GOP legislative majority, since 2011 Wisconsin has risen to the third highest percentage of college graduates with student debt. With such an abysmal track record on student debt, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said it’s no surprise that Walker and the GOP’s latest scheme denies real help to nearly one million state student loan borrowers.
In one of the limited handful "year-end" media interviews Gov. Scott Walker is granting to the state press corp this week, he told a reporter that it was his political campaign that was shortchanged, not the people of Wisconsin, while he ran for president instead of doing his job as Governor. In the interview Walker proclaimed, “... I short-changed my campaign. There are things that I probably needed to do to be a better candidate for President of the United States that I wasn’t able to do because of … being the governor.”
Today Rep. Bob Gannon followed up recent tropes on guns and legalized logrolling with an appallingly racist screed. In a press release from his taxpayer-financed office, Gannon suggests African Americans in Milwaukee are to blame for the state jobs crisis caused by the failed economic policies of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislative majorities.
U.S. Representative Paul Ryan ascended to Speaker of the House of Representatives promising a “bold alternative agenda.” But today the Ryan-led House is voting for at least the fifty-fifth time to repeal the Affordable Care Act that has helped millions of Americans access health care and bans egregious insurance industry practices like dropping coverage when individuals get sick and charging women more than men for the same coverage.
The Wisconsin State Journaltoday reported on an article by Gov. Scott Walker’s crony pick for the state Supreme Court, Rebecca Bradley, in which she attacked the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee effort to keep candidates from producing, or benefitting from others, misleading and underhanded campaign advertising.
One Wisconsin Now is asking Gov. Scott Walker to put passage of the ‘Higher Ed, Lower Debt’ student loan reform and refinancing bill at the top of his 2016 New Year’s Resolution list. The legislation, authored by Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) and Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and co-sponsored by every Democratic members of the state legislature, would allow borrowers the opportunity to refinance their student loans, just like you can a mortgage or auto loan.
Based on her comments in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Rebecca Bradley, appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Gov. Scott Walker in September, violated the state’s open record laws by providing falsified calendars to One Wisconsin Now in response to a request for her work calendar. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the organization is consulting with legal counsel about potential action against Walker’s thrice-appointed judge.
In comments to the state news service Wispolitics.com, Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair and head of the right-wing Bradley Foundation, Michael Grebe called draining hundreds of millions in public tax dollars away from public schools for unaccountable private schools an “accomplishment.” One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Ross blasted the massive expansion of the private school voucher program, enabled by the Bradley Foundation’s millions, while Wisconsin K-12 public schools suffered the 4th largest funding cuts in the nation.