wisconsin capitol
Press Release
August 23, 2010

Walker Claims His 84 Percent Hike in State Budget Tab ‘Controlled Spending’

Votes for Nearly $200 Billion in Total State Budget Spending Contradict 'Unbelievable Claim' Made to Media

MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, under fire for hypocritically opposing the high speed rail line after voting in the state legislature for tens of millions of dollars in rail bonding and a no-bid process for rail, claimed in a news story published today his budget votes “controlled spending.” Walker voted for all five state budgets before him as a state legislator – which increased state budget spending from $26.6 billion to nearly $49 billion, an increase of $22 billion – or 84 percent.

“If Scott Walker ever has to get a job in the real world, he might consider writing fiction,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Scott Walker has show real talent in constructing a world of fantasy where he voted for an 84 percent hike in state budget costs and that this magically ‘controlled spending.’”

According to today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “[A spokesperson for a rival gubernatorial campaign] said Walker was inconsistent on rail because as a lawmaker in the 1990s he voted for state budgets that included $50 million in bonding for passenger rail and allowed no-bid contracting for passenger rail service and equipment. Walker’s campaign said he voted for those budgets because they controlled spending, not because of the rail elements.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/24/10]

Walker entered the state legislature in 1993 with a state’s biennial budget spending level of $26,577,693,600. He then voted in favor of five consecutive state biennial budgets, including the 2001-03 biennial budget, where spending increased to $48,868,063,300. The total hike Walker supported: 84 percent. [Source: 1992 WI Act 269; 2001 WI Act 16; WI Legislative Fiscal Bureau]

Each of the five budgets Walker voted for increased spending from $2.7 to $4.7 billion. Walker voted for just under $200 billion in total state budget spending in his career in the legislature – which ranks as nearly the highest percentage increase over a five-budget period in the state’s history.

Year Bill/Act Total Spending Spending Increase % Increase
1993-95
SB44/Act16 $31,327,732,900 $4,750,039,300 17.87
1995-97 AB150/Act27 $34,008,720,400 $2,680,987,500 8.56
1997-99 AB100/Act27 $38,433,472,100 $4,424,751,700 13.01
1999-01 AB133/Act9 $44,235,227,300 $5,801,755,200 15.10
2001-03 SB55/Act16 $48,868,063,300 $4,632,836,000 10.47
Total $196,873,216,000 $22,290,369,700 83.87

A previous analysis by One Wisconsin Now found that not only did Walker vote lock-step for the increases in spending, but also he voted with the majority on every single one of hundreds of roll call votes which made up the budget deliberations.

“Walker voted for the no-bid rail provision, he voted for tens of millions of dollars in rail bonding and he voted for five straight budgets that hiked spending $22 billion,” said Ross. “If an 84 percent hike in spending is ‘controlled’ for Walker, heaven help the taxpayers when he decides to stop controlling spending.”

For more information on Scott Walker’s record of failure as Milwaukee County Executive, visit www.ScottWalkerFailureFiles.com.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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