Friday Jun 17, 201106:13 PM GMT
'WI budget fiscally irresponsible'
Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:15PM
Interview with reporter and radio host Norman Stockwell from Wisconsin
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The Wisconsin budget plan will not improve the economy but will eliminate various social services and damage the state's traditional way of life, says an analyst.

In an interview with Press TV, reporter and radio host Norman Stockwell highlights the negative aspects of the Wisconsin budget plan.

Press TV: Republicans say the budget plan will eventually get Wisconsin back on the path toward creating jobs and growing the economy. How defendable is that?

Stockwell: As you just said, the budget includes huge cuts to services. Besides the attacks on collective bargaining rights for working people, it also cuts funds for various healthcare programs, many other social services, and I don't think that necessarily means a savings.

In fact, analyses that's been done by independent agencies shows that a lot of the provisions of this budget shows no fiscal impact at all; but rather, are geared at eliminating these various social services.

The senate here in Wisconsin actually just passed their version of the budget about 45 minutes ago. And now it's cleared all the hurdles, and the governor will probably sign that budget into law on Monday or Tuesday next week. It'll go into effect on July 1st; although, as you note, there is a lawsuit that's filed in federal court to try and block that.

It was previously challenged in a district court here and that was overturned by the state Supreme Court just this past Tuesday.

Press TV: Is it true, as some say, that the bill was a mistake and that it will permanently hurt families in the state and goes against Wisconsin's values and traditions?

Stockwell: There's no question that Wisconsin has historically had very progressive legislation in terms of things like the public education system here. In fact, the public employee unions were first created here in Wisconsin in 1932. The union AFSCME, which represents public employees, was started here in Wisconsin.

Other laws like Occupational Safety and Health Legislation, child labor laws and so on, many of those originated here in Wisconsin. And now we're seeing many of those under attack in this budget including child labor laws which, in tonight's debate, further cut some of the provisions that protect children working here in the state of Wisconsin.

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