Walker Fails to Apply for Federal Education Grant
MADISON— Last week, Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) sent a letter, with Reps. Gwen Moore (WI-04) and Ron Kind (WI-03), urging Governor Walker to apply for a Preschool Development Expansion Grant. Unfortunately, Governor Scott Walker failed to submit an application before Wednesday’s deadline depriving Wisconsin of up to $60 million for preschool programs. Since taking office in 2010, Governor Walker has turned down or ignored federal grant opportunities to expand Medicaid for 87,000 Wisconsinites, to expand high speed internet service for schools, to build a high speed rail system between Madison and Milwaukee, and refused to increase the amount of heating assistance given to people in poverty resulting in cuts to Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
“I’m very disappointed Scott Walker has put Tea Party politics ahead of doing his job as Governor,” Rep. Pocan said. “Playing political games with these federal grant opportunities, while neglecting our infrastructure, ignoring our most vulnerable citizens and running up a projected $1.9 billion deficit is inexcusable. Too many people from Wisconsin are being left behind as Walker prioritizes his higher ambitions.”
Gov. Walker has failed to take advantage of the following federal grant opportunities:
Preschool Development Expansion Grant
Wisconsin was one of 36 states invited to apply for a share of $250 million in grants directed to help states develop and expand high-quality preschool programs for children from low- and moderate-income levels. Governor Walker missed the deadline of October 15 to apply for this grant. The Preschool Development Expansion Grant will award selected states with up to 15 million dollars a year for a period of 4 years.
In February of 2013, Walker turned down federal money to expand Medicaid in the state of Wisconsin. The expansion would apply to those who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, or $15,282.
Walker returned $23 million to the federal government in 2011. This money could have been used to expand high-speed internet service in schools, libraries, and government agencies.
High-speed Rail Project
In 2010, governor-elect Walker turned away $810 million in federal stimulus money aimed at creating a high-speed train system between Milwaukee and Madison. It’s estimated that ending the project cost the state as many as 13,719 jobs.
Recently, Wisconsin ended a program that allowed residents access to increased food assistance paid for by the federal government through "heat-and-eat" programs. As a result of the states’ decision not to increase the amount of heating assistance given to people in poverty, Wisconsin will see cuts in federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) benefits.