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Scott Walker’s Record on Higher Education

Scott Walker’s Approach to Higher Education Has Centered on One Thing - Cuts

While on the campaign trail, Gov. Scott Walker likes to tout his tuition freeze, but what he isn’t telling you is that the freeze came after he had already increased tuition substantially, flatlined financial aid, and significantly cut state support for higher education in the State of Wisconsin.

This has shifted costs to consumers and Wisconsin families, increasing student loan debt and decreasing the affordability of higher education, all while refusing to support a plan that would allow Wisconsin students to refinance their student loan debt like you can a mortgage.

Scott Walker’s approach to higher education has centered on one thing – cuts. In his first budget, he cut hundreds of millions from the UW System and technical colleges, while approving a 5.5% per year tuition increase at UW campuses. His most recent budget proposed an additional $300 million in cuts for the UW System. His budgets have also flatlined financial aid for students, forcing students to borrow more to pay for the increased tuition under his administration.

One Year Anniversary of Scott Walker’s Poor ‘Call a Bank’ Advice

Today marks the one year anniversary of Gov. Scott Walker advising Wisconsin borrowers to “call a bank” as his solution to the growing crisis of student loan debt. One Wisconsin Now Program Director Analiese Eicher said that student debt in Wisconsin is a growing crisis and that Walker’s advice and subsequent inaction on policies to help has hurt Wisconsin’s economy and left borrowers trapped in a system that treats them unfairly.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/27/2017]

Worst Governor on Student Loan Debt to Host Owner of Scam University

Gov. Scott Walker – the worst governor in the nation on the student loan debt crisis – will host Donald Trump – owner of a scam for profit “university” and whose administration is currently repealing consumer protections for student loan borrowers at an event today at the Waukesha County Technical College. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker and Trump may be a perfect match for each other, but over 43 million Americans with student debt, including nearly one million in Wisconsin, deserve better than the policies of this duo.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/13/2017]

Gov. Scott Walker No Friend to Wisconsin Technical Colleges or Students

The legislature’s budget committee today takes up the Wisconsin Technical College System in their deliberations on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that career politician Scott Walker has a long record of sticking it to technical college students, either fresh from high school or as adults returning to upgrade their job skills.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/18/2017]

Common Sense Protections of Students or Scott Walker’s Way

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate the Educational Approval Board (EAB) is set to be considered by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance on Thursday. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker’s latest scheme, a similar version of which was rejected by the legislature in 2015, would undermine protections for Wisconsinites from predatory for-profit colleges at a time when it is needed more than ever.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/17/2017]

Wisconsin GOP Standing With Trump Also Standing Against Student Loan Borrowers

Donald Trump is visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin today and Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, Gov. Scott Walker and State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will be standing alongside him on stage. The GOP trio is also standing by Trump, who settled a class action lawsuit by former students of his Trump “university” for $25 million, and against 43 million Americans with student loan debt.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/18/2017]

Gender Wage Gap Means Steeper Student Loan Debt Burden for Women

According to national research, a 22 percent gender pay gap makes today Equal Pay Day for women, recognizing the extra days and months a woman must work to earn a 2016 salary equal to a man. One Wisconsin Now Program Director Analiese Eicher noted that the gender pay gap highlighted today also means greater student loan debt burdens for women as a percentage of their income and longer repayment terms.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/04/2017]

Scott Walker’s 50 Percent Tuition Hike

Gov. Scott Walker can often be heard talking about his deep concern for college affordability. But One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the actions of the career politician tell a much different story, having voted for a series of budgets that increased tuition by over 50 percent and signed into law a double digit tuition hike as Governor.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/30/2017]

Scott Walker revives proposal to eliminate for-profit college oversight...

“While other states are stepping up to protect students, Walker has a different idea,” said Analiese Eicher, program director for the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. “More, not less, scrutiny of for-profit colleges is needed to protect Wisconsin consumers and make sure they get the best education or job training for their hard-earned dollars.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 02/10/2017]

For-profit college oversight board sizing up Scott Walker’s proposal...

Walker’s proposal to eliminate EAB after that federal regulatory action drew criticism from the progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. “Such closures left hundreds of state students in limbo, without a way to continue their education or get credit at other institutions for classes they had already completed and paid for,” One Wisconsin Now program director Analiese Eicher said in a statement released Thursday. “We don’t know what Gov. Walker was thinking or how he decided proposing to eliminate the EAB was a good idea. But what we do know is that more, not less, scrutiny of for-profit colleges is needed to protect Wisconsin consumers and make sure they get the best education or job training for their hard earned dollars.” [Capital Times, 02/09/2017]

Scott Walker Budget Proposes Eliminating Educational Approval Board

For-profit colleges and other scam institutions modeled after Trump “University” continue to menace the higher education scene, using deceptive advertising and high pressure tactics to lure new students but in many cases leaving attendees deep in student loan debt with worthless degrees. While some states and, prior to the election of Donald Trump, the federal government, have been cracking down on abuses, Gov. Scott Walker has a different idea – eliminate the state Educational Approval Board (EAB) that has been in charge of overseeing institutions like these and protecting consumers since 1944.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/09/2017]

Walker’s Wisconsin tuition idea shuffles political alliances

Some Walker critics were quick to label it politically-motivated. Scot Ross, head of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said the cut was all about giving Walker something to run on in 2018. “Walker is doing with the University of Wisconsin what he’s always done with state government, which is spend recklessly and leave somebody else to pick up the tab,” Ross said. [Associated Press, 01/12/2017]

Gov. Walker Solution to Student Loan Debt Crisis He Helped Create: ‘Call a Bank’

Gov. Scott Walker is reported to be taking flight in a state airplane on a media tour following his 2017 state of the state address. Among the topics he is expected to discuss is his recycled advice to Wisconsin borrowers to “call a bank” to help them deal with the student loan debt crisis. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that there are nearly one million student loan borrowers in Wisconsin with $19 billion in federal student loan debt alone, and 43 million borrowers with over $1.4 trillion in debt nationally, yet the financial industry has failed to help solve the problem.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/11/2017]

Steve Lund: You can’t cut costs without objections

One critic, Scot Ross of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, described it as a stunt. In a press release, he said the governor was basically telling student borrowers to “call a bank.” Ross has supported a Democratic Party plan which would be more substantial and more complicated. [Kenosha News, 09/29/2016]

Gov. Walker touts expansion of student lending

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said he didn't believe these steps would be enough to address the growing burden of student loan debt in the state. For years, Ross has advocated for a larger response in which a state-sponsored entity would help to provide refinancing options for borrowers. He said Walker's reliance on private lenders would not address the whole problem. The quasi-public authority proposed by Democrats like Ross would aim to do for student loan refinancing what existing state programs operated by the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Agency do for mortgage refinancing. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/28/2016]

UW Credit Union expands eligibility to all college students

Scot Ross, executive director of liberal group One Wisconsin Now, told reporters after the news conference that expanding eligibility will do almost nothing to help students refinance their loans since they often lack collateral, assets and credit history. "This is how Scott Walker treats all real problems in Wisconsin," Ross said. "How can I get out of this by doing as little as possible to actually help people?" [Associated Press, 09/27/2016]

UW Credit Union Ups Membership Criteria

The effort drew criticism from Scot Ross with One Wisconsin Now, a liberal advocacy group that has been a strong proponent for reforms in the student loan system. “Nearly one million Wisconsin student loan borrowers have over $19 billion in debt and the best Governor Walker can manage is to hold a press conference announcing he is doing nothing and they should go talk to a bank or visit a website,” Ross said. He questioned how many banks are going to give students or borrowers a loan or better interest rate, when so many of them have to rely on student loans because they lack good credit. “I’d like to find out how I could go into a UW Credit Union or any other bank and ask them to give me a loan with no collateral,” Ross said. OWN and Democratic lawmakers have advocated for a bill that would allow student loan borrowers to refinance what they owe through the state. The proposal saw little movement though in the Republican-controlled legislature. [Wisconsin Radio Network, 09/27/2016]

Walker Touts ‘Private Sector Solutions’ To Student Debt

Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a liberal advocacy group heavily involved in the student debt issues, called the new initiative "useless." "(The governor's) proposal of simply business as usual and going in and relying on banks to provide you some kind of great interest rate when you have no collateral is laughable," Ross said. "It's as offensive as it is useless." [Wisconsin Public Radio, 09/27/2016]

Gov. Walker looks to private sector for student loan refinancing...

"With 70 percent of our graduates having student debt - and his answer is a website and go to a bank - as offensive as it is useless," said Scot Ross, executive director for the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. "His proposal of simply business as usual and going in and relying on banks to provide you some kind of great interest rate when you have no collateral, it's laughable." [WKOW-TV, 09/27/2016]

As ITT Tech Shuts Doors, Top GOP Provide Aid & Comfort to For-Profit Colleges

ITT Tech, a for-profit college, announced on Wednesday that they were closing immediately, leaving hundreds of Wisconsin students in limbo. The chain of schools had been under scrutiny by both federal and state government officials from some time, including a prohibition on enrolling new Wisconsin students issued by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board, investigations of their business practices and sanctions including a ban on federal aid.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/07/2016]

What Is it With Republican Support of For-Profit College Scams?

With the for-profit “college” ITT Tech under increasing scrutiny and with state and federal regulators handing down penalties for shady business practices, the question remains: Why did Gov. Scott Walker conduct a photo-op at the Greenfield ITT Tech site? ITT has been barred by federal regulators from accepting new students using federal financial aid and by Wisconsin regulators from accepting new state students. Adding to the cloud of scandal, ITT is also under investigation by multiple attorneys general, as well as the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for deceptive and abusive practices against students.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/26/2016]

Republican National Convention Student Loan Debt Tally...

In America today there are over 43 million people with student loan debts exceeding $1.3 trillion. Yet the speeches of three Wisconsin officials – Reps. Paul Ryan and Sean Duffy and Sen. Ron Johnson – contained zero references to the crisis of student debt. Next up is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who likes to talk about freezing tuition while his son is in college, but has overseen the rise of the state to third highest in the nation for percentage of graduates with student loan debt.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/20/2016]

Scott Walker's $10,000 Trump U "Scholarship"

Trump University, the for-profit “college” owned by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, has been under scrutiny by the courts and the press for business practices that left students deep in debt with little to show for their time and money. But according to a media report in the Capital Times, in Wisconsin the shady outfit could have received less scrutiny under a provision Gov. Scott Walker included in his state budget after receiving a then maximum allowed by law campaign contribution of $10,000. Trump had also previously given to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, an organization investigated by state prosecutors for allegations of illegally coordinating with Walker’s campaigns.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/09/2016]

Walker Won’t Fix Student Debt, Wants Help Paying Off Campaign Debt

Gov. Scott Walker has spent three years blocking legislation that could help Wisconsin student loan borrowers with their debt by allowing them to refinance, just like you can with a mortgage. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted Walker for now asking for campaign donations to pay off the massive debt from his failed 71 day campaign for President because his sons are in college.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/10/2016]

Tax Deadline Looms, GOP Misses Chance to Help Student Loan Borrowers

Today marks the deadline for filing state and local taxes for 2015, and because the inaction of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature, Wisconsin taxpayers with student loan debt are paying higher taxes and higher monthly loan payments. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act officially died, buried in legislative committee by Republicans and opposed by Gov. Walker, with the April 7 expiration of the 2015-16 legislative session.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/18/2016]

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker names specialist on student loan crisis

The announcement drew criticism from One Wisconsin Now, a left-leaning advocacy group. Many in the state have called for allowing student loans to be refinanced, like mortgages and car loans. Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now's executive director said the new position is simply "reassigning a bureaucrat to answer the phone." "This sounds like the worst job in state government: Answer the phone to tell 1 million student loan borrowers why Scott Walker opposes allowing them to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage," Ross said. [UPI, 03/29/2016]

Scott Walker names student loan debt specialist

The governor's announcement of the new student loan debt specialist drew immediate criticism from One Wisconsin Now, a liberal group that has taken on an advocacy role around student loan debt. "One million Wisconsin student loan borrowers want action and Gov. Scott Walker's 'solution' is reassigning a bureaucrat to answer the phone," said Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/28/2016]

Walker’s college affordability bills pass, minus cornerstone...

Analiese Eicher, program director for the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said she believes Republicans only intended to pass "political talking points." The group has highlighted the issue of student loan debt for several years. Eicher was also critical of the income tax deduction bill, arguing the average savings it would have offered is less than what most student loan borrowers pay per month. [Capital Times, 03/17/2016]

Walker vs. Legislators: Addressing student loan debt crisis

Scott Ross, executive director One Wisconsin Now executive director, said the student loan interest deductions excluded 97 percent of Wisconsin’s one million total student loan borrowers. Ross said Shankland’s bill would include a tax break that would help people save as much as $1,000. “I would describe his [Walker’s] alleged college affordability plan in the same way I would characterize his own personal higher education experience — woefully incomplete,” Ross said. [Badger Herald, 02/01/2016]

Student Debt Rises, Walker & GOP Refusing to Clean Up Their Mess

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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/26/2016]

Walker ‘Listening Sessions’ Closed to Public While Student Debt Plan Fails

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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/25/2016]

Walker’s Response to Student Loan Debt Crisis ‘Woefully Incomplete’

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.”

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/19/2016]

Minnesota Gets Student Loan Refinancing Program

 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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/15/2016]

Walker half-solutions don’t come close to fixing Wis. higher ed...

Feeling the heat from Legislative Democrats and advocacy organizations like One Wisconsin Now, and in light of reports that Americans now owe more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, Gov. Scott Walker felt the need this week to try to look like he was do something on the issue of student loans and the costs of higher education. [Daily Kos, 01/15/2016]

Walker Refuses to Help Wis. Student Loan Borrowers, Blames Conn.

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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/12/2016]

Legislators pitch competing student debt bills

Scot Ross, executive director of liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said refinancing student loans is one of the best ways to solve the student loan "crisis." "There are basically two solutions to this crisis: One, you can pay off everyone's student loan debt, or allow them to refinance their loans like you can with a car or a mortgage, which isn't a cost to taxpayers," Ross said. "Walker is choosing to do neither." [Appleton Post-Crescent, 01/11/2016]

Walker and GOP's Student Debt Plan Denies Real Help to Wisconsin Borrowers

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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/11/2016]

Gov. Walker: Make ‘Higher Ed, Lower Debt’ Bill Your 2016 Resolution

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.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/30/2015]

Gov. Walker on Student Loan Debt Crisis: ‘Tweeting Instead of Leading’

 Gov. Scott Walker has taken to social media to share his thoughts on how to address the student loan debt crisis. Unfortunately for residents of the state with the 3rd highest percentage of college graduates with debt in the nation, Walker continues to reject the common sense reforms of the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act to help borrowers to refinance student loans at lower interest rates.

[One Wisconsin Now, 12/09/2015]

Wisconsin Students Miss Out on $102 million

Madison - Gov. Scott Walker has rushed to join politically motivated lawsuits to try to advance his own ambitions -- directing the Attorney General to sue to try to undo the Affordable Care Act, halt regulations to protect our clean air and undermine federal immigration policy. But when it comes to helping students ripped off by a for-profit college chain, Walker was nowhere to be found and now Wisconsin students will miss out on their share of the over $102 million settlement.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/24/2015]

Debate on Solutions to Student Loan Debt Crisis Heats Up

 Student loan debt and the need for reform of a broken system will be front and center in Wisconsin as Hillary Clinton visits the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, where over 70 percent of recent graduates left with an average student loan debt exceeding $33,000. Despite a national $1.3 trillion student debt crisis and research showing it’s devastating economic impact, Gov. Scott Walker has steadfastly refused to support reforms.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/10/2015]

Report: Property taxes, rates drop in southeastern Wisconsin

Scot Ross, of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said: "Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature have given property taxpayers pennies today while putting our technical colleges at grave risk tomorrow. "Republicans have repeatedly cut general fund support to K-12 schools and the UW System to pay for tax breaks disproportionately benefiting the wealthy and corporations, and now technical colleges must rely on this same increasingly unstable funding source for a dramatically larger share of their operating funds." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 09/03/2015]

Walker Refusal to Embrace Refinancing Goes From Mystifying to Appalling

Recent financial disclosures from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reveal that, like 43 million other Americans, his children have taken on student loan debt to pay for their higher education. The Walker family’s tab is in excess of $100,000 at an interest rate of 7.21%. Unlike most Americans, Walker has refused to support a common sense proposal to allow student loan borrowers to refinance, just like you can with a mortgage.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/04/2015]

Student Activists Look to State Gov’ts When Uncle Sam Looks Other...

“We have really pushed for change at the state level and think that states should provide re-financing," said Analise Eicher, program and development director of One Wisconsin Now, a group that is organizing around student loans and is fighting Governor Scott Walker's plans to downsize higher education in the state. "We have state-based legislation we are pushing in Wisconsin. We think that states should be able to provide refinancing for folks who have student loans. The Federal government isn’t going to pass legislation that will allow you to refinance student loans, so let’s do it on the state level." [The Street, 08/01/2015]

Scott Walker’s Bankrupt Student Loan Debt Claim

Audio provided to One Wisconsin Now by the group Young Invincibles reveals Gov. Scott Walker claimed to questioner “we need to look at people who already have high levels of student loan debt,” despite his abysmal record in Wisconsin for the more than 800,000 student loan borrowers. Walker made the remarks after a presidential campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this weekend.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/22/2015]

Ad targeting Scott Walker says college graduates are...

Gov. Scott Walker is the target of a graphic new ad launched by three liberal groups who say he's been the "worst governor in America" for the country's student debt problem. The online ad, called "Hold Your Breath," depicts a person drowning in open water while "Pomp and Circumstance" plays, an image the groups say is meant to symbolize the plight of student loan borrowers. At the end of the ad, a mortarboard washes ashore. [Capital Times, 06/29/2015]

Guest view: Scott Walker’s Wisconsin is no model to follow

First, Walker doesn’t understand the private sector. His salary has been paid by taxpayers since 1993, the same year Bill Clinton first took the presidential oath. Second, Walker slashed funding to Wisconsin’s Technical College System by over 30 percent on its centennial anniversary in 2011. Third, Walker enacted every major piece of legislation he asked for from the Republican legislature. The result? Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest in job creation, is divided with partisanship as never before and is dogged by a budget deficit topping $2 billion. [Holmen Courier-Life, 06/11/2015]

1T Day: Worst. Anniversary. Ever.

Saturday marks three years since the student loan debt Americans are taking on to pay for their education and job training crossed the one trillion dollar mark. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and the Republican-led state legislature continue to ignore the plight of nearly one million state borrowers.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/24/2015]

Budget committee to consider cutting board that oversees for-profit...

“The for-profit college industry has earned additional scrutiny with a track record of abuses that have left hardworking students in Wisconsin and across the nation deep in debt and without marketable degrees," said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. “That Gov. Walker would propose gutting state oversight of the predatory practices all too common in this industry suggests he either doesn’t understand the problem or just doesn’t care.” [Capital Times, 04/17/2015]

JFC Considers Walker’s Plan for Fewer Protections for Students

Wisconsin students would have fewer protections from the predatory for-profit college industry, subject to increasing scrutiny at the national level and in other states, under a provision in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget to be considered by the Joint Committee on Finance on Friday. Under Walker’s scheme, the Educational Approval Board (EAB) would be eliminated, several state regulatory provisions would be repealed outright and other oversight functions would be split among other state agencies.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/16/2015]

Walker Budget So Bad, UW Raises Tuition Before It Even Passes

Budget cuts proposed by Gov. Scott Walker in his 2015 state budget, on top of the record cuts to public education in Wisconsin he and the Republican controlled legislature already enacted, today resulted in approval of large tuition hikes on students at today’s meeting of the University of Wisconsin (UW) System Board of Regents.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/10/2015]

Walker's 2015 Budget Scheme Already Resulting in Tuition Hikes

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents Finance Committee today approved large tuition increases for out-of-state students attending UW schools and for students seeking advanced degrees. The need for the hikes has been attributed to the budget policies of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican controlled legislature.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/09/2015]

Gov. Scott Walker's Phony Badger Boosterism

If you only saw Governor Scott Walker’s tweets and social media posts and friendly wagers with rival state governors surrounding the success of the University of Wisconsin – Madison men’s basketball team, you’d think he was the state’s best friend to the state university system. But one look at his track record of massive cuts in state funding for the UW, including a $300 million cut in his latest proposed budget, double digit tuition increases and cuts to financial aid paints a very different picture.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/06/2015]

Arena plan prompts different reactions from area groups

Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a liberal group, said his organization had "serious questions about the priorities of Gov. Walker when in his budget plan he proposes spending what we now know to be nearly $400 million of our tax dollars on a sports arena while cutting $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System, slashing $150 million from K-12 public schools and postponing paying over $100 million in state bills that have come due." [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/20/2015]

Scott Walker budget would remove oversight of for-profit colleges

"The for-profit college industry has engaged in the kinds of tactics and activities that should earn them more, not less, scrutiny," said Analiese Eicher, program director for the liberal group One Wisconsin Now and a former lobbyist for the United Council of UW Students. "Yet Gov. Walker's budget goes in exactly the wrong direction for Wisconsin students that are doing the right thing trying to get an education or job training. You have to wonder just who Gov. Walker is working to protect." [Capital Times, 02/16/2015]

Walker calls for elimination of for-profit college watchdog agency

A proposal in Gov. Scott Walker’s two-year budget would likely make Wisconsin the only state without oversight of for-profit colleges, at a time when many others are ramping up their level of supervision over colleges that face heavy scrutiny throughout the nation. “I don’t know of any other state that would not have some kind of vetting of for-profit institutions,” said David Dies, director of Wisconsin’s Educational Approval Board. [Capital Times, 02/16/2015]

Scott Walker, the Wisconsin Idea and the race for 2016

"GOP primary voters don't reject the notion that public education is a public good that creates jobs and opportunity," said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. "The legislative records shows he lied, and his opponents will do what they can behind the scenes to let the media in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and the Beltway know what we in Wisconsin already know: That Scott Walker is politics incarnate and he'll say and do anything to get elected." [Capital Times, 02/06/2015]

Scott Walker: Scrapping ‘Wisconsin Idea’ was a...

Quick to capitalize on the "drafting error" buzz, the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now tweeted a series of #draftingerror digs on the governor, a likely 2016 candidate for president. An example: ".@Govwalker now blames lack of college matriculation on 'drafting error.' #walkerfailure #draftingerror" [Capital Times, 02/04/2015]

Scot Ross: Scott Walker’s budget would explode student loan debt

Walker’s record on student loan debt is abominable, and it's getting worse. While he may be betting he won’t be around for the fallout, you can take it to the bank that slashing support for the UW and opening the floodgates for tuition hikes will explode student loan debt and drag down our state’s economy. [Capital Times, 02/02/2015]

Walker's Budget Plan Will Explode Student Loan Debt

Reduced public investment in higher education, stagnant financial aid for eligible students and skyrocketing tuition. That’s why Wisconsin has the fourth highest percentage of college graduates with student loan debt in the nation and how over 40 million Americans have found themselves with over $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recently-unveiled higher education budget plans will only exacerbate the burgeoning student loan debt crisis, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/30/2015]

Walker proposed $300 million cut to UW system in his 2015 budget.

`State lawmakers responded mostly along party lines to Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to cut funding to the University of Wisconsin System by 13 percent over the next two years. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Walker will propose turning the 13 four-year campuses and 13 two-year colleges of the UW System into a public authority, giving the university more flexibility over a wide array of matters that are now mandated by state law.The UW System had requested $95 million from the 2015-17 budget, a request based largely on the financial impact of a second proposed tuition freeze. The governor will still move forward with the freeze, but the $300 million cut comes with more flexibility and autonomy for the university. [...] UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the Wisconsin State Journal that she expects layoffs "at every school and college." "To get through the demanding times ahead, we know that we will be called on to make challenging and difficult decisions. It won’t be easy. Taking a longer view, our new relationship with the state will allow us to leverage the System’s great resources, talent, and ideas to even better serve the people and economy of Wisconsin," said UW System president Ray Cross in a statement.

[Capital Times, 01/28/2015]

GOP Leaves Borrowers Out in the Cold

In announcing an agenda that includes an even more expansive, unaccountable public-funded private school voucher program and targets poor people for drug tests, Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans have left the nearly one million Wisconsin student loan borrowers out in the cold. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that brand new national research shows that Wisconsin, with 70 percent of 2013 graduates having student loan debt, now ranks fourth highest in the nation for percentage of graduates with debt.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/13/2014]

One Wisconsin Now slams Scott Walker’s tech school tour

Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now questions Governor Scott Walker’s motive as the Republican tours five of the state’s 16 technical colleges just two days after being elected to a second term. “He’s using technical colleges as a photo-op as he prepares to make another run for higher office and it’s a sad indictment on Governor Walker’s priorities,” Ross says, “because technical colleges help Wisconsin’s economy grow.” [Wisconsin Radio Network, 11/09/2014]

Mentions of "Washington" Equal "Wisconsin" in Walker Election Night Speech

 In his election night speech after narrowly being re-elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker mentioned “Washington” as much as “Wisconsin”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted Walker's eleven-minute speech in which he mentioned Wisconsin ten times, Washington nine times and America twelve times was a stunning display that Wisconsin's Governor has already moved on to his next electoral objective.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/05/2014]

Gov. Walker's Student Loan Horror Show Premieres

 One Wisconsin Now is using Halloween to debut a new graphic depiction of the horrors of Gov. Scott Walker’s opposition to common sense student loan reforms for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. At TheWalkerDead.com, viewers can see numerous nightmare scenarios befalling the student loan borrowers struggling against Scott Walker’s indifference to their economic futures.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/31/2014]

Minimum Wage, Maximum Student Debt Tour Counters Walker Bus Stops

 U.S. Army Veteran and University of Wisconsin-Waukesha student Saul Newton will counter Gov. Scott Walker's bus tour today with his own “Wisconsin Minimum Wage, Maximum Student Debt Tour.” In contrast to Walker's lavish campaign bus and hefty $650,000 contribution from out-of-state billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Newton will meet the Walker bus in a 2011 Jeep Liberty he borrowed from his girlfriend.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/29/2014]

Walker Ad Can't Hide Failing Record on Higher Ed, Student Loan Debt

 In a deceptive new ad, the flailing campaign of Gov. Scott Walker is trying to whitewash his disastrous record on student loan debt and higher education. Speaking directly to camera, Walker ignores the fact students are paying $200 million in higher tuition as result of hikes he signed into law. Also unmentioned by Walker is that he’s stood in the way of a first in the nation state plan plan that would allow many of Wisconsin’s more than 800,000 student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/20/2014]

MEMO: A $1.2 Trillion Crisis

Students, borrowers and their families are increasingly being squeezed by a system in which dramatic cuts to the university and technical colleges, skyrocketing tuition and profiteering by big banks and the federal government has resulted in nearly 40 million borrowers holding over $1.2 trillion nationally.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/17/2014]

Report Exposes Issues in Private Student Loan System

 A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) points to the need for significant reform to the student loan system, including allowing refinancing, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. The CFPB report analyzed complaints from borrowers they received between October 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014 regarding their private student loans and found the plurality of complaints involved a dearth of repayment options.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/16/2014]

Burke Calls Student Loan Reform Her Top Priority

 Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke told the Associated Press her “first priority” as governor would be passing the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill to lower student debt. Burke’s plan would allow many of Wisconsin’s 800,000-plus student loan borrowers to refinance their loans at lower market rates, like one can with a mortgage, as well as a substantial middle class tax break for payments on student loans.

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/06/2014]

Walker Refuses to Help Student Borrowers, WEDC Lets Businesses off Hook

 Gov. Scott Walker has steadfastly refused to support a common sense state plan to allow students loan refinancing, just like you can a mortgage, helping many of Wisconsin's 800,000 student loan borrowers. Meanwhile, a recent audit of Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) revealed the agency declared as uncollectible millions of dollars in taxpayer funded loans to businesses that were delinquent.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/26/2014]

Pricetag of Student Loan Debt Continues to Rise

 A recent study from a home building industry consulting firm estimates student loan debt is costing the U.S. housing market $83 billion annually in lost home sales. One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the most recent data tracks with an earlier study from his organization that found student loan borrowers and their families were significantly more likely to rent versus own their home.

[One Wisconsin Institute, 09/24/2014]

What College Republicans get wrong about Higher Ed, Lower Debt

The Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill was something substantive that dealt with student loan debt from a long-term perspective, and Republicans killed it without even a second glance. Allowing borrowers to refinance their loans like one would a car or mortgage is a proposal that makes total sense for parents, current students and graduates. More vitally, it’s something that ensures college being a possibility for ALL of the young people in this state, not just people who fit into Scott Walker’s vision for Wisconsin. [Badger Herald, 09/17/2014]

Walker discusses UW affordability at UW-Eau Claire visit

Critics, such as One Wisconsin Now, are blasting Governor Walker's campus tour. They claim he hiked tuition in his first budget, flat-lined financial aid, and let legislation that would have helped current student borrowers refinance their loans die. [WEAU-TV, 09/10/2014]

Gov. Walker Earns Failing Grades in Student Loan Debt 101 on College Tour

Nearly one million Wisconsinites have student loan debt, part of the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis that ensnares 40 million Americans. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, a recent college campus tour undertaken by the increasingly desperate campaign of Gov. Scott Walker earns failing grades for failing to take on the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis.

[One Wisconsin Now, 09/10/2014]

Gov Walker has failed to support a state bill allowing refinancing of...

Recent graduate Teri Crabb, 50, stood outside the building where Walker spoke with signs decrying high student loan debts and a low minimum wage. Crabb graduated in May with more than $50,000 in debt and has not been able to find a job. She said she returned to college as an adult because she was tired of working minimum wage jobs. Does that not speak to our state's economy?" she said Walker did not speak specifically about student loan debt during his campaign stop, but he did say he prefers controlling tuition over government-subsidized financial aid." [Green Bay Press Gazette, 09/10/2014]

Gov. Walker Needs to Go Back to School on Education Policy

 As students across Wisconsin head back to school, it’s Gov. Scott Walker who needs to be educated about the impact of his wrong-headed education policies, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Under Walker and his education policies, Wisconsin has had lagging job growth and rates of wage increases that trail neighboring states, earning him a failing grade.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/29/2014]

Inequality Making a 'Wisconsin Comeback' With Gov. Walker Policies

 Gov. Scott Walker, who plunged the state to last in the Midwest in jobs on his watch, is touting a “Wisconsin comeback” in his stump speeches and TV ads. As Wisconsin celebrates Women’s Equality Day and the 94th anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment grating women the right to vote, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the unwelcome “comeback” under Walker of regressive policies that hurt women and their families.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/26/2014]

PBS NewsHour Features One Wisconsin's Student Loan Debt Work

 The national ‘PBS NewsHour’ program, as part of its weeklong series “Rethinking College” will feature One Wisconsin Now’s work on the student loan debt crisis in a segment airing Tuesday evening. The piece, entitled “Wisconsin group wants to turn student loan borrowers into activists,” also features U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, U.S. Army Veteran and current UW-Waukesha student Saul Newton and recent UW-Madison graduate Ann DeGarmo.

[One Wisconsin Now, 08/25/2014]

Walker Conducts Photo-Op at For-Profit College Chain Under Investigation

 Gov. Scott Walker, who has opposed efforts to allow Wisconsin’s more than 900,000 student loan borrowers the chance to refinance their loans at a lower rate, is instead conducting a photo opportunity today at a predatory for-profit college chain under investigation by multiple attorneys general, as well as the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for deceptive and abusive practices against students.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/28/2014]

GOP-Led Committee Ignoring Issues of Affordability, Student Debt

A GOP-controlled committee examining changes to the governance and funding sources of the Wisconsin Technical College System appears poised to ignore the critical issue of affordability for students. A scope statement for the Legislative Council Study Committee on the Review of Technical College Funding indicates they will consider changes to governance and the funding mix between local and state revenue – but makes no mention of tuition for students and workers receiving training

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/24/2014]

Poll Gives Clues to GOP Push to Make it Harder for Students to Vote

 The most recent Marquette University Law School poll finds Gov. Scott Walker in a dead heat with all voters and badly trailing his opponent Mary Burke by a 48 to 35 percent margin among younger voters between the ages of 18 and 29. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker’s dramatic age gap provides an explanation for why younger voters were targeted in the state with a voter ID law and other onerous new restrictions making it more complicated and difficult for them to vote.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/24/2014]

Student Loan Reform Boosts Burke to Commanding Lead Among Younger Voters

The latest Marquette University Law poll shows former Trek Executive Mary Burke with a commanding lead of 48-35 among voters aged 18-29. Burke is the first gubernatorial candidate in the United States to call for refinancing of student loan debt, like you can a mortgage, while Gov. Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature let a bill die that would have provided relief for many of the state’s nearly 1 million student loan borrowers.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/23/2014]

Kleefisch Tech College Tour Ignores Walker Failures on Student Loan Debt

As Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch continue a statewide election-year tour of Wisconsin's technical colleges, neither has explained why they have increased student loan debt hundreds of millions of dollars, gutted tech college funding by $70 million and opposed common sense reforms that would allow many of the state's nearly 1 million student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/22/2014]

Youth Activists Call For Restoration Of In-State Tuition For...

Valeria Gonzalez, who is part of the student-led organization Youth Empowered in the Struggle, said Gov. Scott Walker was wrong to repeal in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants in the 2011- 2013 state budget. Because of the repeal, undocumented students attending a University of Wisconsin school or technical college in Wisconsin must pay out-of-state tuition. “We believe that Governor Scott Walker still has the opportunity to change what he has done,” said Gonzalez. “If he wants Latinos to vote for him, he needs to bring back in-state tuition.” Republicans argue that taxpayer-funded benefits should not be given to people who have come to this country illegally.

[Wisconsin Public Radio, 07/09/2014]

Walker Cut UW Tuition and Student Loan Debt

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, who has become a national leader on student loan debt issues, decried Walker’s “stunning lack of leadership.” “Wisconsin's student loan debtors had a pathway to real tax relief, but Governor Walker is only interested in tax breaks for corporations and the rich,” said Ross. “Drastic cuts to the University of Wisconsin, a 30 percent cut to the technical colleges, financial aid flatlined, and over $200 million more paid in tuition hikes: This is the Walker record.” [Capital Times, 06/11/2014]

Secession from Union or Relief from Student Loan Debt: Which is Better?

 At their state party convention this year, Wisconsin Republicans engaged in a well-publicized debate over a party platform resolution authorizing the state to secede from the union. Democrats meanwhile are set to take on serious economic issues, like what to do about the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis that ensnares 40 million Americans, including an estimated nearly 1 million Wisconsinites, at their party convention this weekend.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/05/2014]

Memo to Charlie: Gov. Walker's Student Loan Debt Fail

 With his poll numbers sagging among younger voters and news that the Class of 2014 is burdened with the most student loan debt in history, Gov. Scott Walker has deployed his right-wing media stenographer, radio talk show host Charlie Sykes, to offer a defense of his record on the student loan debt issue. Unfortunately, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker’s actions, including tuition hikes and cuts to student aid, have done more harm than good.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/28/2014]

Scott Walker, Opponent Mary Burke Tied in Latest Poll

Burke put state Democrats' popular measure to refinance student debt in her jobs plan, pointing out the toll college loan debt takes on Wisconsin's economy and on its struggling middle class. This issue resonates strongly with Wisconsin's 800,000 student debtors, who rank debt relief among their top political concerns. And they receive a monthly reminder of the issue, Scot Ross, director of the advocacy group One Wisconsin Now, points out. Student debtors could become “the most powerful voting bloc in the state,” Ross predicts. Whether or not they decide to vote may determine the outcome of this very close governor's race.

[The Progressive, 05/21/2014]

Walker's Failure on $80 Million 'Higher Ed, Lower Debt' Tax Relief Plan

 With Gov. Scott Walker using “Tax Day” to announce his re-election campaign, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross railed against Walker for “his stunning lack of leadership” related to the stalled Higher Ed, Lower Debt student loan relief bill, which provides more than $80 million in annual tax relief for the state's student loan borrowers, according to the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/15/2014]

GOP Restrictions Target Minorities, Seniors, Students, Persons w/ Disabilities

 A June 2012 news report in the Wall Street Journal featured a look at the efforts of Gov. Walker and other right wing groups to target Republicans to vote early in the 2012 recall elections, and speculated it could serve as a model for other states. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Republicans have added a heaping dose of hypocrisy to their updated voter turnout plan by seeking to suppress the votes of seniors, minorities and working families with new restrictions on early, in-person voting.

[One Wisconsin Now, 03/17/2014]

Walker's Tax Scheme Misses Chance to Help With Student Debt Crisis

 Missing from the reported details of the latest tax scheme to be unveiled by Gov. Scott Walker in this evening's “State of the State” address is any help for Wisconsin borrowers caught in the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, the Higher Ed, Lower Debt Act could offer significant relief, over $500 per year according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, for the nearly 800,000 Wisconsinites currently paying off federal student loans.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/22/2014]

Walker's Choice: Millionaires or the Middle Class

As Gov. Scott Walker ponders his vetoes to the 2013 state budget, a $30 million tax break with no income limits, worth up to $10,000, for parents already sending their children to private schools should be on the list, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. With a one trillion dollar student loan debt crisis hurting Wisconsin families and dragging down the economy, increasing state financial aid for those who are eligible or tax credits for tuition and interest on student loans would instead be a better deal for Wisconsin students and middle class families.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/25/2013]

#WalkerAt20: Walker’s Education Agenda a Formula for Failure

In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Under Gov. Walker no area has more directly felt the impact of his formula for failure than public education, and the 2013 budget, set to be debated by the Senate and Assembly this week, continues the trend.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/17/2013]

Walker, GOP Higher Ed Agenda Fails to Include Tackling Student Loan Crisis

Original research by the One Wisconsin Institute found that the trillion-dollar student loan debt crisis is not just hurting students and their families, but is a significant drag on the entire state economy. The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding Gov. Walker and the Republican's latest budget action on tuition and the University of Wisconsin System:

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/22/2013]

Walker Makes College Photo Op, Fails to Act to Student Loan Debt

Gov. Scott Walker appeared this morning at an event to nominate a Wisconsin public high school to represent the state in a national competition recognizing efforts to prepare students for college and careers. But, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, the Walker administration has failed to help students avoid becoming trapped in the vicious cycle that has created over one trillion dollars in student loan debt.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/05/2013]

Walker Campaign Co-Chair's Foundation Funds Group Suing MATC

The just-filed lawsuit by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) over a contract signed by the Milwaukee Area Technical College comes thanks to Gov. Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, the CEO of the Bradley Foundation, which has contributed $500,000 to WILL. The lawsuit seeks to undo a contract that will save taxpayers $14 million in its first year and nearly $150 million in the future.

[One Wisconsin Now, 05/01/2013]

Prelude to a Raid?

The latest round of right-wing University of Wisconsin System bashing, this time over an annual report indicating the system has surpluses in several accounts, could be more bad news for students, their families and Wisconsin's economy according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/21/2013]

Trillion Dollar Student Loan Debt Crisis Falls More Heavily on Women Grads

April 9th 2013 marks “Equal Pay Day”, the date on which the earnings of women in the workforce will catch up to those of their male counterparts for 2012. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that research showing a dramatic gender gap in wages among recent college graduates means the burden of the trillion dollar student loan debt crisis is especially acute among recent female college grads.

[One Wisconsin Now, 04/08/2013]

Fed Confirms Institute Findings on Student Loan Debt

A new report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York paints a grim picture of the growing trillion dollar student loan debt crisis and confirms the findings of a One Wisconsin Institute study that found student loan debt has a severe, negative impact on Wisconsin's economy, especially new car purchases and rates of home ownership.

[One Wisconsin Institute, 02/28/2013]

Walker's $68B Budget Allocates $0 For Direct Relief From Student Debt Crisis

In his nearly $68 billion state budget proposal, Gov. Walker larders special interests with sweetheart deals and doles out millions in tax breaks for the wealthiest Wisconsinites. But, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, not one cent is spent to provide direct relief to students or their families being crushed by the trillion-dollar student loan debt crisis.

[One Wisconsin Now, 02/26/2013]

Walker failed to support a plan to address the growing student loan...

The "Higher Ed, Lower Debt" bills, 2013 SB 376 & 2013 AB 498, were introduced 10/29/13 in the Senate & 11/8/13 in the Assembly. The bills called for the creation of a state student loan refinancing authority. Every single Democrat in the legislature co-sponsored the bills. No Republicans co-sponsored the bills. A public hearing was held in the Assembly 2/10/14 and in the Senate 2/5/14. Neither bill was given a vote in committee, and a pulling motion failed in both the Senate and Assembly. Every Republican voted against this measure. (See 2013 SB 376 and 2013 AB 498) The crisis is even more pressing for women, who graduate to a gender pay gap. [Legislative Journal, 01/01/2013]

Commission recommends increase in state college aid

Citing swelling numbers of Wisconsin college students who are eligible for state aid, but denied because of limited state funding, the University of Wisconsin System, the state association for independent colleges, the state technical college system and the College of Menominee Nation jointly endorsed a commission finding Tuesday calling for increased college aid in the next state budget. “Unfortunately, these recommendations aren’t going help when Gov. Walker and the Republican Legislature continue to cut hundreds of millions from University of Wisconsin and raise tuition by over $100 million - adding evermore to the trillion-dollar student loan debt,” said Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, a liberal-issue advocacy organization based in Wisconsin.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/03/2012]

Friedman Failures Drive Walker's Wisconsin

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the 100th birthday of the late corporate propagandist Milton Friedman. Many of the failures of Gov. Scott Walker can be traced to the policies espoused by Friedman, most notably massive tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while attacking public investments and public employees.

[One Wisconsin Now, 07/30/2012]

Scott Walker’s Rhetoric Versus Reality

Governor Scott Walker failed to tackle Wisconsin’s jobs crisis - posting six straight months of job losses here while nationally jobs are being added - and is now poised to take on “the truth” in his second State of the State address.

[One Wisconsin Now, 01/24/2012]

UW System Responds to Additional Budget Cuts

Reilly sent a letter to the DOA on Dec. 14 outlining how the UW System plans to deal with a budget lapse - or additional reduction in state aid - of at least $65.7 million or more than 37 percent of a 174.3 million cut across all state agencies that was imposed in the 2011-13 biennium by Secretary Mike Huebsch in mid-October. In the memo addressed to state budget director Brian Hayes, Reilly proposes a "compromise" lapse amount and warns that the disproportionate hit delegated to the UW System will reduce funding for faculty and instructor positions, which means fewer class sections, decrease in academic advising and larger class sizes, "creating a bottleneck in the education pipeline."

[Capital Times, 12/21/2011]

One Wisconsin Now Statements on Latest Walker Failure: 9,700 More Jobs...

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the latest failure from Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature: a total job loss of 9,700 in October. The news comes after Walker has held two separate so-called “special sessions” on jobs and signed into law $2.3 billion in new tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while gutting public and higher education and health care, as well as stripping 175,000 workers of their rights.

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/16/2011]

Walker Allowed University of Wisconsin to raise tuition by 5.5%...

2011 WI Act 32: On June 26, 2011, Walker signed the budget into law, which allowed the UW System to increase tuition 5.5% annually, over $107 million over the biennium. The tuition increase was allowed in part due to the $250 million in cuts made to the general program operations for the UW System by Walker and the GOP controlled legislature. (2011 Assembly Bill 40; Legislative Fiscal Bureau, June 13, 2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call; 2011 WI Act 32, signed into law 6/26/2011; 2011 WI Act 32 Comparative Budget Summary, University of Wisconsin System, page 749, #3) [2011 WI Act 32, 11/09/2011]

Back to the Skies Against Walker at Badgers' Football Game

With University of Wisconsin Badgers’ football returning to Camp Randall Saturday after a several week road trip, One Wisconsin Now supporters will also be returning to the skies above with a message about the failure of Gov. Scott Walker and its impact on students. This week’s banner that will fly overhead for the two hours preceding kickoff: “Walker = Higher Tuition <3 One WI Now.”

[One Wisconsin Now, 11/02/2011]

UW Chancellors: Higher education cuts unfair

UW-Stout and UW Eau Claire Chancellors contend the state's latest round of budget cuts would unfairly burden Wisconsin's four-year universities...The UW System comprises only 7 percent of the state budget and will get 38 percent of the cut for at least 174.3 million included in the 2011-2013 state budget. They will also include $65.6 million in cutbacks to UW System schools on top of previous state aid reductions also in the budget.

[Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, 10/26/2011]

One Wis. Now Supporters to 'Take to the Air' with Message to Gov. Walker

Fans on hand to cheer the University of Wisconsin Badgers’ football game Saturday will see a message about Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on higher education courtesy of One Wisconsin Now’s supporters from across the state. For the second home game in a row, One Wisconsin Now will fly a plane in the hours prior to the game — this game’s message: “Enjoy Higher Tuition <3 Scott Walker.”

[One Wisconsin Now, 10/13/2011]

Students Must Open Wallets a Bit More

Students who attend the 26 campuses of the University of Wisconsin System and the state’s 13 liberal arts campuses will pay hundreds more in tuition this fall - ranging from $235 more a year at UW Colleges to $659 more a year at UW-Madison after the UW Board of Regents approved a 5.5 percent tuition increase for the 180,000 in-state students at a meeting Thursday.

[Wisconsin State Journal, 07/15/2011]

Walker broke campaign pledge and raised state fees to fill budget hole,...

In the 2011-13 budget, Walker increased fees by over $136 million:
  • Eliminate registration exemption for certain investment advisors
  • Certification fee for persons making title loans
  • Nonprofit organization criminal history record check fee
  • Beer wholesaler’s permit fee
  • Vehicle title fee
  • Class D skills test fee
  • Electronic business transactions
  • Firefighter and emergency medical technician license plates
  • Tuition increase (University of Wisconsin System)
  • Student technology fee revenues (Wisconsin Technical College System)
[Legislative Fiscal Bureau, 07/05/2011]

Changes to the undocumented student status occurred as part of...

The Republican-crafted spending plan reshapes all corners of Wisconsin life, from how much Medicaid will cost to auto title loans to honoring former President Ronald Reagan to even drinking alcohol at the movies. Here’s a look at some of the ways the budget will reshape the state’s priorities and touch lives across Wisconsin:...If you’re a child of an illegal immigrant, going to college in Wisconsin is about to get much more expensive. The budget ends in-state tuition rates for children of illegal immigrants and forces them to pay out-of-state rates. Those changes will apply to anyone who enrolls for classes after Friday.

[Associated Press, 07/01/2011]

Walker gets ‘Pants on Fire’ rating after raising college tuition...

Politi-Fact gave the Governor a “Pants on Fire Rating” after he promised he would pass a budget without fee increases yet the Legislative Fiscal Bureau had determined the budget would raise nine fees over two years by $133 million and reduce eight other fees by $22 million; a net increase in fees of $111 million. Some of the major fee increases include: College tuition, $107 million. Lender fees: Licensed lenders would have to pay a new $5,000 annual fee in order to make motor vehicle title loans, raising $500,000 over two years. Driver's license tests, $634,600 over two years. Background checks, an additional $580,000 in fees. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/01/2011]

Walker Reduced Immigrants’ Access to Education

Youth who are the children of undocumented immigrants are no longer allowed to pay the resident tuition rate to attend the UW System or a technical college. They had the right to pay resident tuition, if they are graduates of a Wisconsin high school, have lived in the state for at least three years and have proof they are applying for a visa to be eligible for resident rates. The right to pay at the resident level tuition rate does not cost the state anything, so this change is simply mean spirited and makes it impossible for these youth to afford a higher education. (For example: the 2011-12 resident tuition at UW-Madison is $9,490; the non-resident tuition is $25,240). (2011 Assembly Bill 40, inroduced 3/1/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker cut over $71 million from Tech College System

In the 2011-13 budget, Walker slashed over $71.6 million in state aid from the technical college system, a 30% reduction, and capped tech college’s ability to raise additional funds through property tax increases. (Legislative Fiscal Bureau Comparative budget summary, Technical College System, #4; 2011 Assembly Bill 40; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call) [2011 WI Act 32, 06/26/2011]

Walker’s first budget slashed funding for education by nearly $2...

Headline: Wis. Gov. signs budget cutting education $1.85B. “Democrats assailed the budget as an attack on middle class values since it cuts funding for public schools by $800 million, reduces funding to the UW system by $250 million and cuts tax credits for poor people. It also reduces the amount schools can collect from property taxes and other revenue combined, which translates into another education cut of about $800 million. While schools are seeing deep cuts, Walker's budget extends tax breaks to manufacturers, multistate corporations and investors.”

[CBS News, 06/26/2011]

One Wisconsin Now Statements on Walker Signing Surrender to Wall...

One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s planned signing of the 2011-13 Wisconsin state budget on Sunday. Walker’s budget includes tax breaks for corporations and the rich that will cost the state of Wisconsin taxpayers $2.3 billion over the next decade. At the same time, they are raising taxes on the working poor by $70 million, dismantling public education by $1.6 billion and slashing the University of Wisconsin by $250 million.

[One Wisconsin Now, 06/23/2011]

Before Walker repealed program, about 100 illegal immigrants paid...

About 100 illegal immigrants took advantage of a law allowing them to pay in-state tuition at University of Wisconsin System schools in the 2010-11 academic year, according to a State Journal analysis, under a short-lived program that will likely expire July 1.Republican Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign a two-year budget that will ban resident tuition for illegal immigrants, ending a program that former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, signed into law just two years ago...In a statement, Gov. Scott Walker's spokesman said: "Individuals who do not reside in our state legally should not be getting taxpayer subsidized tuition." [Wisconsin State Journal, 06/21/2011]

Walker’s first budget included deep cuts, tuition hikes for UW System

In March, UW-Eau Claire expected a $5.1 million cut based on Walker's budget proposal, but that went up to $6.3 million with the version approved this week by the state Legislature. UW-Stout’s university's spokesman, Doug Mell, said the $3.85 million cut estimated for UW-Stout based on earlier budgets would go above $4 million under the Legislature-approved one...The Legislature also is allowing a tuition increase of up to 5.5 percent, which will soften the blow of cuts to institutions, but not offset the entire amount. At UW-Eau Claire, Rindo said an additional 5.5 percent in tuition revenue would bring $3.4 million to the university, a little more than half the cut in state support. The state contributed 64 percent of funding for instructional expenses in the 2000-01 school year, he said. The newest budget funds 44 percent of the university's instructional costs, with tuition picking up the rest. "We're now, for instruction, more tuition-based than state-based," Rindo said.

[Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, 06/18/2011]

Public backlash to the split ultimately killed the proposal to spin off...

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to break off the Madison campus from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System is dead. UW-Madison lobbyist Don Nelson said Friday talks continue with state lawmakers over what new flexibilities the Madison campus can be given to control its budget and make other decisions. But he said Walker’s proposal that the campus endorsed to create a separate public authority is no longer an option.

[Associated Press, 05/27/2011]

Walker’s proposal to break off UW-Madison dead

Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to break off the Madison campus from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System is dead after a lack of support for the split… The two ongoing topics of debate are what freedoms will be granted to the campuses and how will they be implemented, and how will the governor's proposed $250 million cut be spread out. Madison would have taken half of it, or $125 million. Biddy Martin, UW Chancellor, who supported Walker's plan, said the campus needed the autonomy he was proposing in order to deal with that cut. [Associated Press, 05/27/2011]

Walker’s budget axed in-state tuition for undocumented students

On the chopping block in Walker’s two-year budget proposal are early release programs for prisoners, in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, mandatory insurance coverage of contraceptives, college financial aid for high school grads who are good citizens and public financing for Supreme Court campaigns...Walker’s budget plan also would ax a Democratic initiative approved under Doyle that grants in-state college tuition rates to children of illegal immigrants, so long as the students have graduated from a Wisconsin high school and lived in the state for at least three years.

[Associated Press, 03/09/2011]

As Enrollment Shoots Up, funding falls for WI technical colleges

State funding for Wisconsin's 16 technical colleges would drop to a dollar level not seen since the late 1980s, despite enrollment growth of 40% over the last decade, if cuts in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget ultimately gain approval, college officials said last week. That could lead to longer waiting lists for classes, more limited access to courses and programs, and ultimately, challenges for Wisconsin manufacturers, health care providers and other employers looking for skilled workers as the state's economy struggles to recover, officials said…Collectively, the technical colleges enroll more than 400,000 students. The technical colleges are widely considered among the state's primary engines driving economic development, as Wisconsin has a greater proportion of middle-level jobs than the rest of the nation - jobs predicted to see a higher-than-average rate of growth in the next decade. (Note: cuts were signed into law, 2011 Act 32)

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/07/2011]

Walker budget cuts in-state tuition for undocumented students

Among the many provisions in his proposed state budget, Gov. Scott Walker wants to repeal a law that allows some undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public universities. After years of battling to get that measure passed, Gov. Jim Doyle signed it into law in 2009. Before that students who were undocumented were charged out of state tuition, even if they had attended Wisconsin high schools and made good grades…Christine Neumann-Ortiz, the executive director of Voces de la Frontera, an advocacy group that worked for years to get the bill passed, was quick to react. "We fought for the historic inclusion of immigrant youth in higher education, and we will fight to defend their civil rights and dreams," she said in a press release issued Wednesday. She called the measure part of Walker's "cynical attempt to scapegoat workers and students for the economic troubles caused by many of his own corporate backers."

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/02/2011]

Proposed breaking UW-Madison away from System, appoint most of UW Board

Republican Gov. Scott Walker would appoint a majority of a board that would run the University of Wisconsin-Madison independently of UW System governance under a plan spelled out in a document released Wednesday by UW-Madison officials. Because Walker would make those appointments, splitting UW-Madison from the UW System would give the new governor influence over the state's flagship campus more quickly than would happen if UW-Madison remained a part of the state's 26-campus system. Walker's Democratic predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle, made all but one of the appointments to the 18-member UW System Board of Regents during his eight years in office.

[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/23/2011]

Walker gave speech opposing affirmative action and in-state tuition for...

“Now more than ever Wisconsin needs a leader who is going to put Wisconsin families at the top of the list, for a place in the UW system basing appointments on merits and keep in state tuition affordable not allocating slots based on quotes or giving in state tuition to those who are here illegally. And let me be clear I would sign Arizona legislation on illegal immigration.” (2010 Republican Convention Speech)

[Scott Walker, 05/22/2010]