Democrats listen to frustrations of local residents

2013-02-07T11:00:00Z Democrats listen to frustrations of local residentsBy ROD STETZER| rod.stetzer@lee.net Chippewa Herald
February 07, 2013 11:00 am  • 

Lois Fadness said government in Madison is dysfunctional, and she has qualms about what’s happening in Washington, D.C., too.

“I fear for Wisconsin and I fear for the United States of America,” the Chippewa Falls woman said Wednesday at a meeting held by Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) and state Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) at the Chippewa Valley Technical College campus in Chippewa Falls.

“I don’t know how we can fix (government) and I don’t know if we’ve got enough people to fix it, when it is run by millionaires... My vote doesn’t seem to make any difference,” Fadness said.

Larson tried to assure her that her voice does matter, and he told the two dozen people attending  what was billed as a “middle class values tour” that they need to express their opinions to their lawmakers.

Wachs and Larson encouraged Gov. Scott Walker to accept $12 billion in federal funding over the next decade to expand Medicaid coverage.

“Gov. Walker has been resisting the state getting involved in this program,” said Wachs, whose 91st District includes much of the north side of Eau Claire.

Larson said the move would eventually create 10,000 new jobs. “Which is more jobs than any proposal the government has put forth in two years,” he said.

“The only problem is this comes down to a decision by one person ... and that person is not in this room,” Larson said, referring to Walker, who has said he will make a decision by his State of the State address Feb. 20.

Larson said Republicans are pressing for changes in mining laws, but it could take 5-7 years before the state could see up to 700 mining jobs created.

Gail Halmstad of the town of Lafayette said she was concerned about expanding the voucher program, which began in Milwaukee.

“There is a lack of accountability and a lack of oversight,” she said of the program, where qualified families can use a state voucher to enroll their children in a public or private school.

Larson maintained the voucher program takes money out of public schools.

“It is a failed experiment. It doesn’t work,” he said, adding voucher promoters spent $7 million on the last campaign. And now the legislature is talking about expanding the program, he said.

One man who did not give his name asked if there was any movement in sand mine legislation.

Larson said he supports a proposal by state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma). That bill would require public hearings when new mines are proposed and would make sure local communities could make decisions on where the mines could go.

“We’ve seen this explosion (in sand mining). We’ve been watching this,” Larson said.

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(8) Comments

  1. Heavyweight275
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    Heavyweight275 - February 09, 2013 12:44 pm
    Give me examples of where the president demanded without Congregational approval ? It was nothing like what you paid for in taxes for two wars and not filling the donut hole in SS which Bush and Chaney are responsible for and we are still paying for them
  2. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - February 09, 2013 9:14 am
    Really? You think it's actually possible the government whether it's right or left will agree to write an entirely new constitution that provides a method of govt that is effective and efficient? I know either party will not consider that. Why waste time thinking the impossible will happen and spend more time correcting the current system. Our system isn't broke, but it's injured. It needs help, but not thrown away completely. It's not the constitution that needs changing, it's the thoughts of the people who use it.
  3. ChippewaFallsWisconsin
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    ChippewaFallsWisconsin - February 09, 2013 9:07 am
    But you're wrong, they do have the right to tell you where to send your children to school. You can say they don't have the right all you want to make a point, but there's some things you say that are just plain wrong. It's better to not say anything than to say completely the wrong thing to make a point. Vouchers may work some places, but not everywhere. If they would work here, they would be in place. You may not agree, but the people here including the school board do make decisions for what they feel is best for the children and taxpayers. I realize you may not agree, but people aren't making these decisions to make people upset and to lose money.
  4. tddgolf
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    tddgolf - February 09, 2013 8:27 am
    In the 21st century the operational word will be efficiency. All governments will need to be effective and efficient. The government model set in place by the 1791 Constitution is not efficient of effective. The book Expecting A Different Result points out the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the current governments. The book calls for a new constitutional convention charged with providing a constitution that provides a method of government that is effective and efficient.
  5. Brittney
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    Brittney - February 08, 2013 1:03 pm
    Choice schools are not held to the same standards as public schools are. Choice schools are not required to educate a high cost, high needs student. Choice schools are not required to provide pupil transporation. Choice schools can almost cherry pick their students if they so choose. Last I looked, schools' general state aid is reduced by the choice school funding. So, if a school doesn't tax to the maximum allowed by the revenue limit, then yes, that is money being taken away from the district. A district's expenses will not decrease because there is a student attending a private school under choice. A school would have to see a whole, same section of students leave to see some savings. If a school taxes to the max, then the taxpayer picks up the difference. So now the taxpaper pays public school taxes plus helps pay tution to a private (choice) school.
  6. empire 2
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    empire 2 - February 07, 2013 10:14 pm
    Where is this lady coming from? She is saying the Federal government and the State Government is broken. They are headed in TOTALLY different directions!
  7. Merlin
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    Merlin - February 07, 2013 5:02 pm
    Larson might want to read the financials on the voucher program. It saves schools money, it doesn't "take money away". They get 1/2 the average cost to send a child to public school to go to a school of their choice. So for every 2 students in the program, the Public school program is only educating 1.

    Last time I looked, half price is a pretty good deal for the tax payers in Wisconsin, especially since it has a positive effect on the educational outcome of our children. This idea of "lack of over site", is a joke. You do not have the right to tell me what schools I will and will not send my child to and you do not have the right to impose your will on me - this is the "lack of over sight" that is being referenced here.
  8. bayview
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    bayview - February 07, 2013 3:54 pm
    Ms Fadness, we should be so lucky as to have the federal government in as good shape as our state government!!! Where are you??? I am an independent and vote for the best person running and based on what has taken place in the past 4 yrs with the federal government and all the entitlement programs, I did not vote for Obama. I don't believe that any of us can afford anymore taxes of any kind other than educational taxes for the kids and do not agree with what has gone on the past 4 yrs. Our state gov't has a balanced budget with no proposed increases in sales tax and other taxes. We all should be thrilled about that as I think you should be. I co-own a very small business with my husband and I'm telling you that we will be out of business very shortly IF things continue on the way they are with all the taxes, insurance, etc that Obama is demanding without Congressional approval. He thinks he can tell us all what we can/can't do; it's sickening.
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