Following is a statement from Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning on the budget that passed the state Senate late last night.

“Wisconsin is in fiscal crisis with a self-inflicted $2.2 billion budget deficit as a result of years of bad choices by the Republicans in charge, but nothing about the budget that passed the state Senate last night will even begin to repair the damage – it will only cause Wisconsin to fall further behind states like Minnesota that are creating economic opportunity for all.

“Despite being faced with this incredibly difficult budget, Democrats offered real solutions to improve the Republican proposal in ways that would make our communities stronger and help our economy thrive. Unfortunately, Republicans rejected commonsense proposals like fully funding our public schools, calling for more accountability at Scott Walker’s failed flagship jobs agency, and allowing Wisconsinites to refinance their student loan debt.

“This budget is destroying opportunity for Wisconsinites. It offers woefully inadequate funding to our public schools, preventing equal access for all Wisconsin children. The Republican budget denies BadgerCare to 81,000 Wisconsinites even though it would not cost us as taxpayers to help more people have affordable health insurance. In fact, because of partisan political opposition, other states will get hundreds of millions of dollars that could help fix our budget and be spent investing in healthcare here in Wisconsin.

“Budgets are documents that reflect our values and our priorities; what passed the Senate last night made apparent that Republicans in the legislature value handouts to a select few and they prioritize Scott Walker’s campaign for president over Wisconsin’s middle class.”