WASHINGTON—Statements from AFT President Randi Weingarten, AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas and Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals President Candice Owley on Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s signing of lame-duck legislation that restricts early voting and weakens the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general:
AFT President Randi Weingarten said:
“Scott Walker has ended his tenure as governor of Wisconsin exactly as he started it: in a mean-spirited takedown of anyone who dares to disagree with him or his backers. Eight years ago, he stripped the rights of public school teachers and other public employees and, in so doing, made a mess of the state’s public schools and universities. He slashed education spending at every level in favor of tax cuts for big companies. Because Walker has made a career out of putting regular people last, this past November the voters of Wisconsin voted instead for Tony Evers.
“But Walker didn’t stop at dissing workers. Now, he’s dissed the voters too. As he leaves office, he and his fellow Republicans are fixated on maintaining power and defying the people’s will, even if that means handcuffing his successor’s ability to govern and flouting the democratic process. Today, Scott Walker reminded us all who he truly is.”
AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas said:
“Educators across this state rejected Scott Walker’s agenda on Nov. 6, and, today, his parting gift was to remind them that he doesn’t care about them or their vote. He doesn’t care about the $590 cuts in per-pupil funding and the $2 billion cuts to public education funding, which left teachers fleeing the state and rural schools struggling to keep up. Tony Evers vowed to invest in Wisconsin’s schools and Wisconsin’s kids, to protect our healthcare and our early voting rights, yet even after we voted him out of office, Walker is still managing to stand in the way of that promise.”
Wisconsin Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals President Candice Owley said:
“Scott Walker’s legacy won’t just be his attacks on working people. We’ll remember how strongly he supported efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and how he led a lawsuit to allow big insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. He also refused to expand Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, denying care to thousands of Wisconsinites. Today, he showed his true colors again: as a sore loser who wants to strip the governor’s office of any power, simply because he’s not the one occupying it.”