By Tim Kowols
Funding for social services and education are two of the major topics of concern residents have expressed to Senator Dave Hansen as state budget conversations continue. At a forum hosted by state Democrats last week, many residents are worried the state cannot make up the funding difference being created by cuts to agencies supporting the elderly, disabled, and poor in the proposed federal budget. Others expressed their concern for education funding, despite proposed increases for K-12 schools, colleges, and universities. According to Sen. Hansen, a cut in University of Wisconsin tuition may sound good to students, but may not matter much if they cannot keep qualified teachers.
Senator Hansen did applaud the Joint Finance Committee’s removal of 83 non-fiscal proposals from Governor Scott Walker’s budget. The JFC will host three more public hearings, including one in Marinette April 21, before state legislators return to Madison in May.