Governor Walker’s 2011-12 legislative session ended the way it began: with destructive, short-sighted, bills that did nothing to move Wisconsin forward being rushed through the legislature.
Scott Walker and his Republican legislative allies have succeeded only at dividing Wisconsin as never before and making Wisconsin the nation’s "leader" in job loss. These are the marks of an epically failed legislative session and an utter failure of Walker’s leadership.
In the final hours of this session, Republicans forced through bills that prioritize unaccountable private voucher schools over our public schools, take away local control, and set women’s health care and women’s rights back decades.
Instead of showing real leadership and working together to find commonsense solutions, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans repeatedly chose extremism and division over listening to the people. From jobs to public education to open government, Republicans’ actions this session have taken Wisconsin in the wrong direction.
It is ironic that this legislative session’s end coincides with the end of the national “Sunshine Week,” which promotes the importance of open and transparent government. Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans have made a mockery of Wisconsin’s longstanding, bipartisan commitment to open government. From locking Wisconsin’s residents out of their State Capitol to drawing new election maps behind closed doors and signing secrecy oaths to hide information from the public, this legislative session has been marred by dark clouds of secrecy and scandal.
This session has showcased two different visions for the future of Wisconsin. I have fought hard to create family-supporting jobs, strengthen public schools, and ensure open and honest government. Gov. Walker and the Republicans have spent their session rewarding special interests, operating in secret and attacking Wisconsin’s middle class. I am relieved this session is over and I look forward to a more cooperative, productive session when we reconvene in January 2013.