Gov. Scott Walker’s actions have repeatedly undermined Wisconsin women when it comes to healthcare and economic freedom. The totality of his actions on reproductive health and women’s economic opportunity rank him as one of, if not the, worst politician in America for women.
Overall, Walker’s record on policies impacting women is abysmal at best, and as he has sought to court Republican primary voters, he has increasingly highlighted the same extreme anti-choice positions he sought to hide during his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.
Despite his attempts at double talk, his record speaks for itself.
IRS records show a Milwaukee based fund gave significant financial support to James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. The Bradley Impact Fund is a fundraising operation off-shoot of the Bradley Foundation, and has given out more than $5 million in the last two reporting years. Gov. Scott Walker’s longtime campaign chair Mike Grebe is the vice president of the Bradley Impact Fund and until recently ran the nearly $900 million Bradley Foundation.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/30/2017]
Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein is garnering scrutiny for pouring big campaign cash into the effort to elect pedophile Roy Moore to the United States Senate. But Moore’s take is dwarfed by the millions Gov. Scott Walker has snagged from Uihlein for his own campaigns and political groups with which he is associated.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/29/2017]
Amid revelations that Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Alabama Roy Moore had inappropriate sexual relationships with multiple teen girls, the Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell called for him to “step aside.” Meanwhile in an interview broadcast on Sunday, Gov. Scott Walker, joined those offering aid and comfort to Moore by falling back on the “if it’s true” refrain.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/13/2017]
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]
Gov. Scott Walker today signed in to law measures to limit access to comprehensive care for thousands of Wisconsin families by seeking to divert funds for reproductive health care provided by Planned Parenthood and to reduce their reimbursement rates for providing birth control and family planning through the Medical Assistance program.[One Wisconsin Now, 02/18/2016]
WALKER RHETORIC: “I’ve always been pro-life and I’ve got a position I think is consistent with many Americans out there.”[One Wisconsin Now, 08/06/2015]
After being criticized by right-wing power brokers for a 2014 ad in which he moderated his stance on abortion, Gov. Scott Walker has quickly moved to sign the dangerous abortion ban he asked lawmakers to pass without exceptions for rape or incest.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/20/2015]
Speaking straight to camera in a television ad for his 2014 gubernatorial election, Scott Walker in his own words told Wisconsin he supported leaving, “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.” After being criticized for the ad by right-wing power brokers he needs to win the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, Gov. Scott Walker called for a new abortion ban in Wisconsin. The State Assembly gave final passage to that ban today and in the process interfered in the intensely personal decisions of women to terminate a wanted pregnancy and put their judgment before medical professionals to boost Gov. Walker’s political ambition.[One Wisconsin Now, 07/09/2015]
Gov. Scott Walker said Monday he will sign a proposed 20-week abortion ban whether or not it includes an exemption for cases of rape or incest. Walker, who had previously expressed support for the bill that's on a fast track in the Wisconsin Legislature, said it didn't matter whether there was an exemption. As introduced, there is none in the bill.[Associated Press, 06/01/2015]
In a recent radio interview nationally recognized women’s reproductive health expert, Dr. Douglas Laube, said the new abortion ban proposed by legislative Republicans and supported by Gov. Scott Walker (Assembly Bill 237/Senate Bill 179) could force a woman terminating a pregnancy to save her life to undergo an invasive cesarean section (c-section) surgery that dramatically increases the chance of injury to or death of the mother.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/29/2015]
On his first day as governor of Wisconsin, Walker authorized a state lawsuit challenging Obama's signature health care law and, in part because of the success of states' legal challenges to the federal Affordable Care Act, later opted not to use federal money under that law to expand state health programs.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 04/07/2015]
Walker has said he will “push back” on any pressure for governors to fix Obamacare should the Supreme...
SYKES: You may have a major decision coming up in a few months. If the Supreme Court rules in this King v. Burwell case that nobody in Wisconsin can continue to receive federal Obamacare subsidies, there is going to be tremendous pressure on Republican governors — including you — to create a state exchange. What are you gonna do? Do you have contingency plans in place? WALKER: We’re gonna push back. This is a problem that was created by this president and the Congress that was in the majority at that time. There’s gonna be incredible pressure — we heard it about a month and a half ago when I was at the White House with all the other governors from across the country. The president doesn’t have a fallback plan. But this is not something the state created. This is something the federal government — this president and the Congress created. They’ve gotta come up with a solution.Blaming post-King chaos on Obama and Democrats will obviously be the first thing GOP governors like Walker try to do. But Democrats don’t control Congress anymore. And according to law professor Nicholas Bagley, who has taken a close look at the administration’s options for a forthcoming legal paper, there is little Obama can do on his own. “The Obama administration has no good options for picking up the pieces after an adverse ruling in King,” Bagley tells me. “It can probably make it slightly easier for states to establish their own exchanges and it might even be able to treat some federally facilitated exchanges as state-based exchanges. But, even under the most optimistic scenario, millions of people will still lose their health coverage and the insurance markets in many states will collapse. The notion that the administration has the unilateral authority to restore tax credits nationwide is just wrong.” What this means is that, if Walker really is going to demand that the “federal government” fix the problem, that would mean demanding that Congressional Republicans participate in any such fix. The post-King mess could be particularly acute in Wisconsin: Because of a decision Walker made to shift people from Medicaid to subsidized private insurance, significantly more people may be on subsidies than otherwise might have been, meaning Walker could be on the political hook for the mess. Some 185,000 Wisconsinites qualify for subsidies.” [Washington Post, 04/06/2015]
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in the lead-up to an expected presidential bid, is continuing a push to align himself with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party, writing in an email to supporters on Monday that the United States should move forward with “bold conservative reforms to improve health care,” in place of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, despite concerted efforts by congressional Republicans and GOP-controlled state legislatures to undermine the law, has added 16.4 million people to health insurance rolls since October 2013. Walker’s email, written on the five-year anniversary of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, lambasts the health-care reform law and President Obama (emphasis his):Obamacare gets a failing grade and for once…just once…I wish President Obama would admit that he was wrong. We told him so but he refused to listen.President Obama is turning the most advanced and successful healthcare system in the world upside down.Five years into this policy debacle, the American people are saying, “So Far, So Bad.” The facts tell a different story. Not only have millions of citizens gained access to health insurance, but hospital costs have shot down by 20 percent across all states, and by 26 percent in states that have expanded Medicaid—a key element of President Obama’s health-care law.[RH Reality Check, 03/24/2015]
“A federal judge on Friday struck down a Wisconsin law requiring doctors performing abortions to get hospital-admitting privileges, concluding that the measure was enacted primarily to provide an obstacle for women seeking abortions. U.S. District Judge William Conley, who earlier had put the law on hold, ruled that the 2013 law is unconstitutional. He issued a permanent injunction blocking its enforcement. "The only reasonable conclusion is that the legislation was motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin," Conley wrote.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/20/2015]
One Wisconsin Now is warning New Hampshire voters to beware this weekend when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visits to audition for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. Behind Walker’s rhetoric of economic recovery and courageous, principled action is a trail of deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence that includes a sagging state economy, mismanaged budgets, criminal investigations and payoffs to special interests – topped off with politically expedient flip-flops pandering to the most extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP.[One Wisconsin Now, 03/15/2015]
“Shifting his tone to reassure social conservatives, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared Tuesday that he intends to sign a state law in the coming months that bans abortion after 20 weeks. In an open letter to the Susan B. Anthony List, the likely Republican presidential candidate also said that he supports “similar legislation” now stalled in Congress. “My policies throughout my career have earned a 100 percent rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin,” Walker writes. “As the Wisconsin legislature moves forward in the coming session, further protections for mother and child are likely to come to my desk in the form of a bill to prohibit abortions after 20 weeks. I will sign that bill when it gets to my desk and support similar legislation on the federal level.”[Politico, 03/03/2015]
“Life is a value I learned from my parents, and it’s a value I have cherished every day, predating my time in politics. My policies throughout my career have earned a 100% rating with pro-life groups in Wisconsin. Just in my first term I signed numerous pieces of pro-life legislation and I will continue working for every life...We prohibited abortion from being covered by health plans in a health exchange.”[Scott Walker letter to SBA List, 03/03/2015]
Walker has repeatedly refused to accept federal Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin, hurting low-income workers...
Refusal to accept Medicaid expansion comes with a real cost to those pushed off Badgercare by Walker’s plan
“As of last fall, BadgerCare had added about 97,500 adults without children who were below this cutoff of 100% of the federal poverty level, with state taxpayers covering a little more than 40% of the cost and federal money paying the rest. Meanwhile, the state has dropped about 57,000 adults from BadgerCare with incomes between 100% and 133% of the poverty level. The governor said in 2013 that the great majority of those adults losing their BadgerCare would receive subsidized coverage by buying it on the private market or through an online federal marketplace created under the health care law. So far, only about one in three has done that.”[Governing.com, 02/19/2015]
“Under Obamacare, federal taxpayers would have paid 100% of the cost for the adults that the state is bringing onto BadgerCare if Wisconsin hadn't dropped its coverage of the adults with somewhat higher incomes. The federal government's share eventually would drop to 90% of the cost. The decision to reject that federal money is estimated to have a net cost to the state of more than $100 million in the current two-year budget. The extra federal money would have allowed the state to cover an estimated 84,700 more people through BadgerCare.”[Governing.com, 02/19/2015]
Right wing radio talk show host and Scott Walker for President enthusiast Rush Limbaugh today suggested that Walker should proclaim that he left Marquette University without a degree, “because I don’t want to be accused of rape down the road.”[One Wisconsin Now, 02/12/2015]
“Some recipients of public benefits, including Medicaid, unemployment and food stamps, would be required to undergo drug testing, under budget proposal announced Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker. The governor rolled out his “workforce readiness plan” Thursday ahead of the scheduled unveiling of his 2015-17 state budget proposal on Feb. 3. The proposals announced Thursday are aimed at providing more workers for “high-need” fields such as manufacturing, Walker said. Drug testing could affect tens of thousands of Wisconsinites receiving benefits; those failing drug tests would be offered free drug treatment and job training, the governor said...Drug testing the unemployed would apply only for people “for whom suitable work is only available in certain occupations,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said. Information on which jobs or job seekers would be subject to drug testing was not immediately available. About 40,000 people currently receive unemployment benefits. The budget also will include language seeking permission from the federal government to test all “able-bodied” adults without dependents on FoodShare, as well as all childless adults on Medicaid. Some broad-based programs in other states that tested all recipients have been halted after courts found them unconstitutional.[Wisconsin State Journal, 01/23/2015]
Clinics maintain that they are billing at the rates set by the state itself in 2009, but politically...
“NEWCAP and Family Planning Health Services, as well as other organizations that provide reproductive health services in the state, contend they were paid for contraceptives and other prescription drugs at a rate agreed upon and set by the Department of Health Services in 2009. "We've been following the instructions we have been given, and we've been following them for five years," said Molly Fuller, president and chief executive of Family Planning Health Services. All of the family planning clinics, including those run by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, are paid the same rate by the state. "We are all doing it the same way," said Nicole Safar, director of policy and legal advocacy for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. The Office of the Inspector General's contention, first reported by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, has raised more questions than answers. How could the clinics overbill for contraceptives and other prescription drugs when the state sets the payment rate? And if the state did pay the clinics too much for the drugs, how could it go undetected for five years? The Department of Health Services isn't saying. The department declined to comment on the audits or explain how it pays family planning clinics for birth-control bills and other prescription drugs. Nor has it answered questions raised by the family planning organizations in their response to the audits.[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/12/2014]
As a practical matter, Walker’s ultrasound mandate requires some women to get a transvaginal ultrasound
“The ad alludes to a July 2013 Wisconsin law that requires women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound -- either transabdominally, which is done externally, or transvaginally. Wisconsin is among two dozen states that require an ultrasound before an abortion is performed. In Wisconsin, exceptions are made in cases of sexual assault or medical emergency. The governor’s office praised the measure, saying it "improves a woman's ability to make an informed choice that will protect her physical and mental health now and in the future." The law was opposed by the Wisconsin Medical Society, among others. The society said the measure as a "direct infringement on the patient-physician relationship" and for injecting "non-evolving government mandates into medical science."...The law doesn’t mandate transvaginal ultrasounds, rather it says the woman seeking an abortion can choose either a transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound. But medical professionals say that the new requirement, as a practical matter, means some women have to get a transvaginal ultrasound.”[Politifact, 10/24/2014]
Gov. Scott Walker recently appeared at a charity event for teen drug treatment featuring controversial Phil Robertson of the television show Duck Dynasty, and proudly posed for a photo with Robertson, first lady Tonette Walker, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and her husband Rep. Joel Kleefisch. One Wisconsin Now rapped Gov. Walker for a serious lapse in judgment in posing for a photo op at a teen drug treatment program fundraiser with reality TV star Robertson who has publicly advised men to seek to marry women as young as 15 years old.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/20/2014]
Walker has led the way on a "no exceptions" stance for Wisconsin in the past. As a state lawmaker, in 1998, he co-authored a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, even in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s health was in jeopardy. Physicians who performed the procedure would have faced life in prison. In 2010, he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board that he is completely opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.[Capital Times, 10/14/2014]
In a recent campaign television ad Gov. Scott Walker, on record as opposed to abortion even in cases of rape or incest, speaks directly to the camera and tries to minimize the impact of “the bill”. Based on his long track record of supporting, authoring, voting for and signing into law measures that restrict women's access to healthcare services including abortion, One Wisconsin Now is asking Gov. Walker to clarify which bill he was referring to in his TV ad.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/10/2014]
In an attempt to appear moderate while also keeping his 2016 Republican presidential primary ambitions alive, career politician Scott Walker has taken to the airwaves and the internet to try to cover up his extreme views, while also touting them. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Gov. Walker's 20-year demonstrated record of extremism on women's reproductive health issues and a “100 percent” rating from an extremist group are at odds with his new TV ad in which he speaks directly to camera.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/10/2014]
“Data shows that women are more likely than men to lack the kind of identification needed to meet new voting requirements. Obtaining proper ID can require costly documents, and women are more likely than men to be poor. Women are also more likely to have to deal with name changes in the wake of marriages and divorces, and make up a greater proportion of the millions of elderly Americans without ID. In Wisconsin specifically, research conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that 59% of Hispanic women, 49% of African American women, and 17% of white women were without a valid driver’s license in 2002.”[MSNBC, 10/09/2014]
College Republicans have produced a series of bizarre ads ostensibly intended to help embattled GOP governors, reportedly including Scott Walker in Wisconsin, appeal to women voters. The ads, based on the TV program “Say Yes to the Dress,” equate casting a vote for governor with picking out a dress. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, College Republicans aren’t the only allies of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with sexist opinions about women and their dress.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/03/2014]
A top lobbyist at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce unleashed an angry tirade at a Tuesday press conference held by women opposing WMC’s attacks on pay equity in Wisconsin. The lobbyist, WMC Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley, was described in media reports as having “shot back with heated words” and referring to criticism of WMC’s anti-pay equity stance as “absurd,” “shameful” and “unfounded.”[One Wisconsin Now, 10/01/2014]
“A fifth Planned Parenthood health center closed in Wisconsin on Thursday due to state budget cuts that directed family planning money away from the provider. The Fond du Lac clinic did not provide abortion services. It offered birth control, sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, pregnancy tests, annual exams and breast cancer screenings to over 1,000 patients a year. A spokesperson for the clinic blamed the closure directly on Gov. Scott Walker (R), whose 2011-2013 budget eliminated over $1 million in state funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.”[Huffington Post, 09/25/2014]
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]
After public outcry to Walker admin decision to stop enforcement of the contraceptive equity law, the Office...
Following Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision, Walker administration announced it would no longer enforce the...
“On Monday, a spokesperson from Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s administration told the conservative website Media Trackers that Wisconsin will no longer require employers to follow the state law mandating coverage. Current state law in Wisconsin mandates that companies with insurance plans covering certain services, like outpatient care, preventive treatment, and prescription drugs, must also cover contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration and prescribed by a health-care provider.”[RH Reality Check, 07/25/2014]
In his first state budget in 2011, Gov. Scott Walker unsuccessfully attempted to repeal the state law guaranteeing contraceptive equity for women in their health care. This week the Walker administration announced it is halting enforcement of Wisconsin’s equity law, using the Hobby Lobby decision as justification, despite being quoted as saying, “It really hasn’t been an issue for us.”[One Wisconsin Now, 07/23/2014]
April 8 is National Equal Pay Day, the day when women's pay for the previous year equals men's. Unfortunately for Wisconsin women and their families, instead of taking steps to address this issue Gov. Walker and the Republican controlled legislature repealed the state equal pay law, leaving Wisconsin as one of only five states in the nation without one.[One Wisconsin Now, 04/08/2014]
After eliminating Planned Parenthood from the Wisconsin Well Woman program, Walker’s administration then...
Ultimately, the Walker administration delayed changes to the Well Woman program after public pushback against...
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) administration announced Friday evening that it was delaying its controversial restructuring of a popular health care program for low-income women, after an outcry from women's health advocates..." Stakeholders in the provider and coordinator communities have reached out to us with questions, concerns, and suggestions about how the proposed model would work. We have listened carefully, and have modified our original proposal based on those concerns," McKeown wrote to local health offices, WWWP providers and WWWP coordinators. By Dec. 1, the state will begin to select the providers who will form the new network. By April 1, 2015, it plans to have the new structure of providers and regional coordinators in place, with everything up and running by July.”[Huffington Post, 03/21/2014]
Recently released documents from a secret “John Doe” investigation of close aides and associates of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have contained embarrassing revelations of racism, sexism, homophobia and derogatory remarks about the mentally ill. But the latest, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, comes from Walker’s own campaign website that features comments from the Governor's self-described “friends,” including Madison conservative and noted misogynist David Hookstead, as seen below:[One Wisconsin Now, 02/26/2014]
Walker’s opposition to minimum wage increase hurts women, who are more likely than men to work for...
“Gov. Scott Walker opposes increasing the federal minimum wage, fearing it would prompt employers to do less hiring. In making his case, Walker paints a picture of low-wage workers as people working the counter at fast-food restaurants”.[Politifact, 01/13/2014]
Nearly 15,000 individuals have voiced their opposition to the anti-woman agenda of Gov. Walker and the state big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, signing an online petition telling them to, “Respect Wisconsin Women.” EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, and One Wisconsin Now sponsored the effort.[One Wisconsin Now, 11/09/2013]
“Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Friday requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges, and abortion clinics responded by immediately suing state officials over the measure. The law — signed Friday by Walker in a private ceremony — would cut the number of clinics offering abortions in Wisconsin from four to two, and one of the remaining clinics would have to dramatically cut the number of abortions it provides, according to the operators of the clinics. "When women don't have access to safe, legal abortions, there are health consequences and women die," said Teri Huyck, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 07/05/2013]
Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures. Opponents contend legislators shouldn't force women to undergo any medical procedure and the bill will force two abortion clinics where providers lack admitting privileges to shut their doors. The law takes effect Monday. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit within hours of the signing alleging the bill is unconstitutional and asking for a temporary restraining order blocking the measure.”[Politico, 07/05/2013]
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. In today's installment, as the Republican controlled legislature is poised to adopt even more radical, right-wing legislation attacking women's health care, the lowlights of Gov. Walker's abysmal record on the issue are up.[One Wisconsin Now, 06/14/2013]
OWN is highlighting different Walker fails over the course of 20 days. Day two discusses right wing legislation attacking women’s health care. Scot Ross commented, “When given the choice between protecting women’s access to safe and legal health care services or pandering to the most extreme right-wing of the Republican Party, Scott Walker has sided with the extremists over Wisconsin women every time.”[Common Dreams, 06/10/2013]
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]
“Scott Walker’s proposed $273 million budget for Wisconsin Shares, the child-care subsidy program for low-income families, threatens to make it even harder for providers to give quality care to the children most in need of a good start preparing for school, say child-care providers and quality care advocates. Under Walker’s proposed 2013-2015 budget, the Department of Children and Families will continue to reduce by up to 5 percent Wisconsin Shares subsidies paid to child-care providers who rate below the mid-point on YoungStar, a five-level quality rating scale. State subsidies for care of children from income-eligible families — frozen since 2006 — already fall short of covering the cost of providing care, advocates say”.[Capital Times, 03/26/2013]
“Planned Parenthood will be closing four rural Wisconsin locations between April and July because the nonprofit health care organization has lost $1.1 million in state funding, officials announced Monday. The centers in Beaver Dam, Johnson Creek, Chippewa Falls and Shawano don't get enough private funding to stay financially viable without the state support, which the Legislature eliminated in the 2011-'13 state budget. The locations are the only reproductive health care providers in their communities, officials said during a conference call from Madison...Planned Parenthood officials stressed that the $1.1 million the organization lost in state funding for nine counties mainly paid for infrastructure costs. The money was never used to provide abortion services, which would have been against state and federal laws, officials said.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 02/18/2013]
“Gov. Scott Walker signed four bills relating to women’s reproductive health and pay equality without the usual public fanfare last Thursday, a move that came under fire from Democrats and advocacy groups. Walker signed the four bills into law on Thursday and announced their signing, along with 47 other bills, in a statement released the following day. The first three bills relate to abortions in the state, and the fourth relates to women’s health issues, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau. One piece of legislation repeals Wisconsin’s Healthy Youth Act.”[Badger Herald, 04/09/2012]
Supporters of the equal pay enforcement provisions said they had been effective in addressing Wisconsin’s...
“The Equal Pay law wasn’t just about women—it also offered protection from discrimination based on race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors. But it was enacted largely in response to a large gap between men and women’s compensation, one that was worse than average in Wisconsin—in 2009 the state ranked 36th in the country in terms of workplace gender parity...To bring a suit under the law, a plaintiff first had to go through a state-level administrative process to prove discrimination. It was rigorous enough that in the two years the law was in effect, not a single equal-pay lawsuit was filed. Still, the law’s supporters believe it has been effective in spurring businesses to pay women more fairly. Thus by 2010, the state had climbed to 24th in the national gender-parity rankings, with women making 78 percent as much as men, compared to 77 percent nationally. “Since the law was put into place, employers actually took notice and were very conscious of the fact that they had to follow this law or they were at risk of a lawsuit,” Sinicki argues.[Daily Beast, 04/07/2012]
Walker Signed Equal Pay Repeal and Abortion Restriction Bills In Private and Released Them on Good Friday
A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill. The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court.[Huffington Post, 04/06/2012]
Walker signed a bill prohibiting plans in the Wisconsin state exchange from offering abortion coverage
The Equal Pay Enforcement Act gave victims of wage discrimination the ability to sue in state courts for punitive and compensatory damages. By repealing the law, Walker made it easier for corporations to discriminate because the adverse financial consequences were lessened if they were caught. In addition, filing suit in state courts is often cheaper and easier than going to federal court so victims may be less likely to pursue claims without the state court option.[2011 SB 202, 04/05/2012]
“The legislature’s budget committee on Wednesday signed off on changes to BadgerCare. Some 44,000 BadgerCare enrollees will see premium increases, while more than 22,000 will be dropped from the state-run Medicaid program. Representative Corey Mason questioned Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith. “What is your response to the very real impact that may occur for the people of Wisconsin who may not be able to afford health care?” Mason said many of his constituents will struggle with the changes. “They’re on the bubble right now about whether or not they are eligible for BadgerCare. When they look in the private market what they find are plans that are $1700 a month with a $5000 deductible.” “We have families today, at a hundred and fifty percent of poverty, on BadgerCare, paying ten dollars a month for their coverage,” said Smith. “And I have people who work for me, as state employees earning less income than that, paying $200 a month. How do I say that is equitable? What are we saying to the neighbor next door who’s paying over $300 a month for their coverage?” Smith said no children in Wisconsin will lose their BadgerCare eligibility, under terms of the plan negotiated with federal officials.”[Wisconsin Radio Network, 03/14/2012]
Research shows that since the law was passed Wisconsin has been one of a handful of states that has seen the...
Walker attempt to privatize food stamps and take over Medical Assistance from counties blocked; counties form...
Here's the challenge: The state cut funding to operate economic support services by 16.8 percent, while at the same time requiring counties to contribute the same amount to services that they did in 2009. In his budget repair bill, Gov. Scott Walker proposed taking all of those duties away from counties. Medical Assistance, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program -- formerly referred to as food stamps -- BadgerCare and subsidized childcare, consolidating them at the state level, and providing service through a call-center model. A private company, not state workers, would oversee programs. Gov. Scott Walker's administration estimated the proposal would save $48 million each year and eliminate 270 state positions. Previous efforts to run programs such as BadgerCare out of centralized offices didn't work. The Legislative Audit Bureau gave the state performance in operating BadgerCare a dismal review. So counties offered the state an alternative: Counties would continue to provide the services but they would form income maintenance consortiums. The lead county in each consortium would work with the state, and each county within the consortium would continue to provide face-to-face services for their residents. In addition, each county would provide a call center to answer questions and process change orders for all of the consortium's clients.[Janesville Gazette, 12/31/2011]
“Beth Kaplan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services, told Mother Jones that no decision has been made on the contract and would not comment on why it might not be continued. But Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, says they were told that the state is cutting them out of the program. "They have very clearly stated that they were ending the contract with us," she says. (UPDATE: Walker himself has confirmed that the state is ending its contract with Planned Parenthood...The move puts in question what will happen to the more than 1,000 women that access the Well Woman Program through Planned Parenthood in Winnebago, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Outagamie counties every year.)[Mother Jones, 12/16/2011]
“Attempts by the new Republican administration to largely privatize the state's food assistance program have been all but stopped in their tracks. The controversial plan, first proposed by Gov. Scott Walker in March, would have replaced county-level sites where residents can simultaneously apply for FoodShare and medical assistance with a limited number of centers across the state staffed by private workers. The move would have cost roughly 270 public workers their jobs. "The state right now is not in compliance (with federal law)," said Alan Shannon, a spokesman with the USDA's regional office in Chicago. "It's that simple." Federal guidelines prohibit private, or vendor, staff from deciding an applicant's eligibility for food assistance. Under the guidelines, private workers can only perform non-discretionary tasks, such as scanning documents. On Thursday, Ollice Holden, the Midwest administrator for the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service in Chicago, sent a letter to Dennis Smith, secretary of the state Department of Health Services, telling him to correct the situation.”[Capital Times, 08/17/2011]
“Among measures cheered by anti-abortion groups, the 2011-13 biennial budget prohibits any entity that provides abortions at any of its facilities from participating in the state's family planning program. The change renders Planned Parenthood, which performs abortions at three Wisconsin sites, ineligible for those funds and means an annual loss of about $1 million to that organization…Harrington said the loss of the family planning money "seriously jeopardizes" the future of nine Planned Parenthood health centers in the state that do not perform abortions but provide thousands of uninsured men and women with services such as cancer screenings and breast exams.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 07/03/2011]
2011 Walker budget prohibited funding of organizations that provide abortions or make referrals for abortion...
UW Hospital said it was unclear if provision in budget signed by Walker would require the UW to stop offering...
“Election officials across Wisconsin are bracing for a difficult transition as the state rushes into place new rules for voting signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday — including a controversial measure requiring voters to use photo IDs...Walker signed the bill before a packed room Wednesday, reminding the crowd that he had authored a similar bill 10 years earlier, when he was a state representative. “So contrary to what some have said, this has not been rushed,” he said. “Some bills take longer than others.” Walker said the bill “protects the integrity of every single vote.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 05/26/2011]
Walker signed law pre-empting sick day ordinance and voiding a Milwaukee ordinance that had been passed by...
“About 55,000 people could lose their health insurance under the state's BadgerCare program, under Gov. Scott Walker's budget plan released Tuesday. Walker's budget also would shrink aid to Wisconsin Works participants and could mean reduced state child care subsidies to low-income families. In an effort to slow the growth in spending on Medicaid, Walker says he will seek permission from the federal government to tighten eligibility standards and would cut off people faster who are found no longer eligible. If the federal government does not give the state permission to toughen its standards in determining who gets Medicaid, the state would eliminate coverage to families that earn more than 133% of the federal poverty level on July 1, 2012. That threshold currently is $24,352 a year for a family of three.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 03/01/2011]
“Barrett’s campaign, though, points to the first question on the survey: ‘Would you sign legislation that declares that a preborn child has an inalienable right to life from the moment of fertilization forward?...Did Walker know about -- and agree with -- the group’s views on birth control as causing abortion?For the 2010 election, candidates were given survey instructions and a memo entitled "Hormonal Birth Control and its Abortion Causing Effect," according to Sande. That memo clearly lays out the group’s view that "any artificial action that works to destroy a human embryo is abortifacient in nature." It lumps "most if not all birth control drugs and devices" into that category. Sande downplays the chances Pro-Life Wisconsin will succeed in its anti birth-control agenda because it believes society is not ready for it. But a birth control ban is the group’s aim. Its mechanism to get there is "personhood" legislation -- Question 1 on the candidate survey.’”[Politifact, 11/01/2010]
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to admit he would support a ban on embryonic stem cell research if elected governor, but Walker told supporters in 2005 he would have signed a bill Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed at the time that was a direct threat to embryonic stem cell research. Walker told his supporters of the ban in the November 10, 2005 “Walker Weekly,” an electronic newsletter during his failed previous bid for governor.[One Wisconsin Now, 10/19/2010]
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker admitted in a newspaper story today he was unaware of a comprehensive report on the tragedies at the Milwaukee County mental health complex - but that has not stopped him from refusing to release the report to his own county auditors. Walker refused to tell the private legal counsel he hired, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars to taxpayers, to release the report to Milwaukee County auditors who have requested it to complete their investigation.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/28/2010]
In advance of tonight’s first debate between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, One Wisconsin Now offered the following questions for County Executive Walker to answer about his tax cut plan for the rich and big business, his support for cutting children and working families from BadgerCare health coverage and his failed management of Milwaukee County.[One Wisconsin Now, 09/23/2010]
A public interest advocacy group is calling on Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker Monday to take responsibility for his “tragic mismanagement of the county’s Mental Health Complex,” saying Walker has chosen to defend himself by hiring an outside law firm and a public relations specialist, both at taxpayer expense, instead of fixing the problem.[One Wisconsin Now, 08/22/2010]
Walker signed questionnaire agreeing to sign legislation that bans abortion in all cases, without exception...
Walker received endorsement of Pro-Life Wisconsin based on “100% Pro-Life” rating, which includes support...
The Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund Political Action Committee (PAC) today announced its dual endorsement of Mark Neumann and Scott Walker for Wisconsin governor....Pro-Life Wisconsin Victory Fund supports candidates for public office who demonstrate a commitment to protect each and every innocent human life – in all circumstances and at all stages of development. To be “100% pro-life” is to know that a human life begins at fertilization and that there may never be a legal exception to an innocent child’s inalienable right to life.”[Pro-Life Wisconsin, 06/22/2010]
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s failed leadership and the disastrous outcome is the subject of an online video produced by One Wisconsin Now as part of its “Scott Walker Failure Files” timeline and information warehouse.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/31/2010]
Milwaukee County Scott Walker’s mismanagement of the County Mental Health Complex is under even more scrutiny after tragic reports of yet another patient sexual assault, this time at the hands of a security guard hired as part of Walker’s failed effort to privatize county services.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/20/2010]
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s latest campaign ad is riddled with falsehoods, distortions and half-truths about his disastrous record for Milwaukee County, according to a fact check of the ad conducted by One Wisconsin Now.[One Wisconsin Now, 05/17/2010]
“Unpaid furloughs ordered to help balance Milwaukee County's 2010 budget could compromise public safety, according to law enforcement and court officials. The impact of furloughs -- or other substitute budget cuts - -could range from slower prosecutions to delayed trials and criminal arrest warrants, the officials said. Restraining orders in domestic violence cases also might be slowed, they said. The furloughs may force him to make ‘triage decisions’ in which charges for lesser crimes are delayed or skipped so prosecutors can focus on serious felony cases, said District Attorney John Chisholm.”[Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 01/18/2010]
As noted in articles above, Pro-Life Wisconsin requires a 100% rating to receive their endorsement. Walker won the endorsement in 2010 by answering yes to this question, among others: “1. Would you sign legislation that bans abortion in all cases? (Pro-Life Wisconsin supports legal protection for all preborn babies, including those conceived in rape and incest. If a physician claims that a mother’s life may be in danger, PLW opposes direct abortion and supports equal care for mother and child. Please see the enclosed memo on why a “life of the mother” exception is dangerous and unnecessary.)”[Pro-Life Wisconsin candidate survey, 01/01/2010]
“Pharmacists could refuse to fill birth control prescriptions if doing so violates their moral or ethical beliefs under a bill before a state committee. The "conscience clause bill" (AB 168) introduced by Rep. Scott Walker, R-Wauwatosa, is aimed at the so-called "morning after" pill, which stops a pregnancy after unprotected sex, and the abortion drug RU-486. But it also would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense most other forms of birth control, since in some cases things like the pill or intrauterine device (IUD) can prevent the implantation of fertilized eggs. "No person should be forced to engage in the destruction of another person's life, no matter the stage of development," Walker said.”[Wisconsin State Journal, 04/12/2001]
Provisions of bill would have required women seeking an abortion to be told they could “anonymously and with immunity from liability relinquish custody of her newborn child to a law enforcement officer, an emergency medical technician, or a hospital staff member when the newborn child is 72 hours old or younger.”[2001 AB 450, 01/01/2001]
Walker Sponsored Bill Prohibiting Use of State Money for Counseling About Birth Control or Prescribing Birth...
The bill banned “the use of funds for family planning services and pregnancy counseling to prescribe, dispense or administer a contraceptive prescription drug or device to a minor without parental notification.”[1999 AB 632, 01/01/1999]
Walker authored bill that could have allowed refusal of treatment, including pharmacists refusing to fill...
- sterilization procedures;
- certain procedures that prevent the implantation of a fertilized human ovum;
- experiments or medical procedures that involve the destruction of a human embryo or that involve a human embryo or unborn child but do not relate to the beneficial treatment of the human embryo or unborn child;
- procedures using fetal tissue or organs;
- withholding or withdrawing nutrition or hydration under certain circumstances; or
- acts causing or assisting in the death of an individual, including assisted suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing. There is no exception for an employer to show that the refusal poses an undue hardship.”
Walker Sponsored Legislation to Shield Doctors From Lawsuits for Failing to Inform Parents About Prenatal...
The bill cut off any state funding for pro-choice groups and prohibited a state employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment from providing abortion services, promoting, encouraging or counseling in favor of abortion services or make abortion referrals either directly or through an intermediary in any instance other than when an abortion is directly and medically necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. The bill also prohibited public property from being used in connection with providing or facilitating abortions.[1997 AB 740, 01/01/1997]
Walker Authored Legislation Allowing Providers to Deny Patients Treatment Based on a Religious or Moral...
The bill proposed allowing doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers to refuse to participate in sterilization, abortion, assisted suicide and other procedures or dispensing emergency contraception or birth control based on their personal religious or moral beliefs.[1997 AB 953, 01/01/1997]
Walker sponsored 1997 Assembly Bill 220 to criminally ban an abortion procedure that included an exception for the life of the mother, but not her health.[1997 WI Act 219, 01/01/1997]
“I won’t shy away from the fact that it had appeal to myself and other conservative members who don’t believe we should fund this, but the broad appeal was financial.”[Capital Times, 07/17/1995]
Walker was a sponsor of and voted for bill requiring a mandatory counseling and a 24 hour waiting period...
- The name of the physician who will perform or induce the abortion.
- The probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at the time that the information is given.3. The details of the medical or surgical method that will be used in performing or inducing the abortion.
- That fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services are available that enable a pregnant woman to view the image or hear the heartbeat of her unborn child and how the woman may obtain these services if she desires to do so.
- That if, in the reasonable medical judgment of the physician, the woman's unborn child has reached viability, the physician is required to take all steps necessary under current law to preserve and maintain the life and health of the child.
- Any other information that a reasonable patient would consider material and relevant to a decision of whether or not to carry a child to birth or to undergo an abortion.
- That the woman may withdraw her consent to have an abortion at any time before the abortion is performed or induced.
- That the woman is not required to pay for performance or inducement of the abortion until at least 24 hours have elapsed after provision of the information.
The bill, signed in to law in May 1996, expanded “requirements for a woman's informed consent for performance or inducement of an abortion and for consent to a minor's obtaining an abortion and providing a penalty”[1995 WI Act 309, 01/01/1995]
The bill created a “series of crimes providing penalties, based on current law, for persons who cause death, great bodily harm or harm to an unborn child.”[1995 AB 146, 01/01/1995]
The bill would have banned the state group insurance board from providing group health insurance coverage for abortion to employees in the Wisconsin retirement system.[1993 SB 727, 01/01/1993]