Monday, May 10, 2021

Federal health $ could treat WI GOP leader's amnesia

I note WI GOP Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu's tweeted complaint about Wisconsinites (meaning ego-driven GOP legislators) being given no say by Gov. Evers over how Federal dollars are being spent.

Oh, the harm done to good government:

Image of Devin LeMahieu
State Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg
@SenatorDevin @GovEvers Vetoing our bills sends a clear message to the people of Wisconsin that they will have little to no say in how their federal tax dollars are spent. He has once again rejected the opportunity to work w/ legislators on a basic spending plan. This is not good government. 

After recalling that these same whiney GOP legislators treated themselves to an all-expenses-paid nine month vacation in 2020 after failing to provide Evers with their promised COVID19 battle plan, I also remembered this and other examples of Republicans' good government [sic] management [sic] of Federal funds during the Walker years - a costly series of ideological and deliberate high fiscal crimes which continue during Robin Vos' Governorship in His Mind: 

State giving back stimulus funds intended for broadband expansion

State officials are returning $23 million to the federal government, saying there were too many strings attached to stimulus money that was supposed to be for expanding high-speed Internet service in schools, libraries and government agencies.

The money was to have boosted broadband connections in 380 Wisconsin communities, including 385 libraries and 82 schools. It also could have been used to improve police, fire department and hospital communications in rural areas.

And this

Following Wisconsin's High-Speed Rail Funding Down The Tracks

A Look At What Happened To Federal Money 

The state of Wisconsin keeps on paying for trains that aren't running in, to or from any of its communities. In August, the state reached a $9.7 million settlement with Spanish train manufacturer Talgo over two new sets of rail cars. These Talgo 8 trains were originally intended for Amtrak's Hiawatha line between Milwaukee and Chicago, but instead ended up in the Pacific Northwest.

Wisconsin taxpayers previously spent $42 million on these trains before the train manufacturer sued the state in 2012. That puts total costs for this particular rail project about 10 percent higher than the $47.5 million price tag, funded through state bonds, set by Talgo in its initial 2009 no-bid contract with Wisconsin's then-Gov. Jim Doyle.... 

It's the latest chapter in a now-familiar story of passenger rail investments being diverted from Wisconsin. In 2010, Gov. Scott Walker rejected $810 million for a Madison-to-Milwaukee line. This was part the Obama administration's nationwide, $10.1 billion push to invest in high-speed passenger rail.

And this

Wisconsin Could Get $1.6 Billion by Expanding Medicaid

Wisconsin could save more than $1.6 billion over the next two years by expanding Medicaid to cover nearly 91,000 additional low-income people, a move Republicans continue to block.

Which is a continuing story

Vos says no to plan that would provide Wisconsin with $1.6 billion for health care

MADISON - The state would reap $1.6 billion in tax savings — more than 2½ times original projections — if it provided health care to more Wisconsinites under a provision of the recently passed federal COVID relief legislation.

Also, Bruce Murphy at Urban Milwaukee had noted other GOP-provoked federal funding losses beyond Amtrak, broadband and Medicaid that cost Wisconsinites access to programs and/or drove up state taxpayers' costs: 

What Walker Cost Wisconsin

New report shows big decline in federal aid for state while he was governor.

Walker also rejected another pot of federal money for political reasons. The governor and Republican legislators implemented a law that disqualified any able-bodied adult without children who works less than 80 hours per month from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The new policy cuts off their food assistance if they have not worked for a cumulative total of three months during a three-year period. 

The result was a loss...of $166 million in economic activity in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, the state allocated more than $58 million to administer this program, meaning state taxpayers would pay for a new bureaucracy whose goal was to stop some $92 million in annual federal SNAP assistance from going to the poorest of the poor....

Walker also slashed state spending at the state Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, spending the minimum possible under the law to prevent being subject to federal penalties, as a story by the Wisconsin Center for Investigation found. 

Wisconsin could have gotten an additional $14.2 million in federal funds if it were to come up with a $3.9 million match to cover funding for the next two years, the story noted in 2013. Instead DVR was left far short of resources, forcing “thousands of people with disabilities” to “wait for months to access state employment services,” the story found. 

Talk to me again about your good government, and who controls federal spending, or triggers more state spending than needed? 

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

And there’s no doubt that If Walker had won in 2018, we’d be part of the group of Confederate, GOP-run states that are turning down the $300/week add-on for unemployment. Despite the fact that we are still down over 100,000 jobs from where we were pre-COVID.

GOPs don’t want things to get better, because they care more about power than having things get better. And it doesn’t change until we VOTE BETTER.