“Budgets are a blueprint of our priorities. What we spend state dollars on truly reflects what we value for our people and our communities.”
–Kathleen Vinehout


My vision for tomorrow is far different from where the state is today. It is a vision that puts people first -- at the center of state policy and the priority for spending state dollars.

That means funding education and changing the formula that distributes those dollars so districts are not continually in crisis and having to pass referendums.

It means free tuition at our technical colleges and 2-year campuses so people of every age can learn the skills needed in today’s economy. It means restoring cuts to our universities.

It means making health care affordable and accessible to every one of our citizens. It means changing our criminal justice system to reduce incarceration, provide alternatives to prison, and treatment instead of punishment for addiction and mental health illness.

It means supporting our counties, tribes, towns and cities that deliver so many of our social programs. It means local control so people can make the decisions that affect the quality of life in their own communities.

In the last four budget cycles I have written alternative budgets that use the same total dollars, but take money from corporate tax breaks and cash payments and put those dollars into programs that support people.

When government provides the supports that increase opportunities for people, the economy thrives. The corporate think tanks tell us that the “business climate” is good when the choice is low taxes and few regulations. But, research tells us the states with good public services are the states that thrive.


Read More About This Topic in Kathleen's Columns


2009-04-01 Need for Services Outweighs State Dollars

2014-07-09 Wisconsin Leading the Way in Cuts to Schools?

2011-03-23 Privatizing - What Does This Mean?

2015-02-18 Save Senior Care, Again!

2011-04-19 Mr Walker: Join Me in a Neighborhood Walk

2015-02-25 "You've Got to Be Kidding!"

2011-04-27 A Better Way To Balance the Budget With the Same Dollars

2015-07-08 A Flurry of New Policy Slipped in by Budget Committee

2012-05-30 Kicking the Can Down the Road

2017-06-07 What Choices Would You Make?

2013-04-09 The Wisconsin Budget Has Lots of Missing Numbers

2018-06-06 Former DOT Secretary: Honest Discussion about Transportation Needed

2014-05-14Growing State Debt is Unsustainable