Walker Hypocrisy Watch: No Policy in the State Budget

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With the shock still throughout Milwaukee over County Executive Scott Walker’€™s plan to slash funding for seniors, the disabled, at-risk youth, as well as end funding for homeless shelters, Walker engaged in exactly the kind of leadership we’€™ve enjoyed from the career politician ‘€“ he hightailed it out of town.

Landing in Eau Claire, Walker offered up a whopper of a tall tale, proven easily false by just a few moments of research.

According to the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, ‘€œWalker said if elected governor he would work to keep policy items out of the budget he would present to the Legislature.’€That’€™s a bold statement.

Turns out, a quick look at Walker’€™s record in the State Legislature shows it’€™s a statement that’€™s hypocritical at best and intentionally deceptive at least.

So Walker thinks putting policy in the budget is bad? Then why did three bills authored by Walker, which have absolutely no fiscal impact, wind up in the last Assembly GOP state budget he voted for in 2001?

Three mammoth right wing policy items Walker authored, right there, plain as day in his Assembly GOP budget.

Look at the Assembly GOP budget Walker voted for and decide for yourself whether Walker was lying or not.

Here’€™s the Assembly GOP budget. To help you quickly find these non-fiscal, policy items of Walker’€™s which made their way in, we’€™ll list the bill. And after that, we’€™ll list the page number and lines where the identical bill language appears.

Assembly GOP Budget, 2001

Here’€™s Walker’€™s ‘€œConscience Clause‘€ bill that would allow health care providers to deny women reproductive health care that they are opposed to:

Fiscal impact to state government: Zero dollars

Conscience clause language begins in the Assembly GOP Budget on page 778, line 19

Here’€™s Walker’€™s ‘€œNot Hiring Felons‘€ bill that would allow employers to deny employment to ex-felons:

Fiscal impact to state government: Zero dollars

Not hiring felons language begins in the Assembly GOP Budget on page 773, line 12

Here’€™s Walker’€™s ‘€œGag Rule‘€ bill that would prevent any state resources to go to organizations that perform abortions, or to organizations which affiliation with organizations that perform abortions. It does include the need for one additional position for the intrusive audit the plan requires of all organizations receiving state money for certain health programs to ensure they were complying with this (idiotic and clearly unconstitutional) plan.

Fiscal impact to state government: Cost of one audit position

Gag rule language begins in the Assembly GOP Budget on page 256, Line 21

Responsible budgeting at the state and county levels is critical. This appears to be one of the ‘€œtalking points’€ we’€™re going to hear from Walker.

Whether the traditional media allows him to get away with hypocritical and deceptive pronouncements that are utterly contradicted by his record, is yet to be determined.

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Scot Ross served as Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now & the Institute from 2007 to 2019.