Monday, February 21, 2011

Winnebago County Supervisor Jef Hall: Statement to Joint Finance Committee

Winnebago County Supervisor Jef Hall: Statement to Joint Finance Committee

Contact: Jef Hall - 920.203.6883 –

Madison, WI – Today, Winnebago County Supervisor Jef Hall delivered the following remarks to the Joint Finance Committee at the Budget Repair Bill Public Hearing:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to testimony today.

My name is Jef Hall. I am an elected member of the Winnebago County Board, a resident of Oshkosh and a constituent of Senator Hopper's. I am here to speak in favor of Winnebago County's working families.

We have heard from Governor Walker, the majority of this committee and Senator Hopper that these radical changes and abuses to our hard working middle class employees are necessary because the state of Wisconsin is broke.

And because Wisconsin is broke, working families need to take pay cuts, benefit concessions and bear the local economic consequences these will entail.

We have also been told that because Wisconsin is broke, we need to cut Wisconsin's working poor off BadgerCare. This will result in the loss of healthcare for 1,000 Winnebago County residents alone.

We are told we need to do this because Gov Walker, the majority members of this committee and Sen Hopper say Wisconsin is broke.

However, even though Wisconsin is broke, Senator Hopper recently circulated a bill to eliminate the capital gains tax in Wisconsin. This will cost the state up to $250 million per year in lost revenue, more than the savings from gutting Wisconsin's working and working poor families.

Now, as a member of the Winnebago County Board and specifically the Human Services Board of Winnebago County, I know and have spoken to many of the working families affected by this bill. They are not making huge capital gains; they do not have large amounts to invest.

What this is is a shameful movement of funds from Wisconsin's working families to wealthier Wisconsin residents.

Senator Hopper, before his election paid personal state income taxes once in 10 years, and that was on a capital gain, the tax he proposes to eliminate.

So I would urge the Governor, this committee and Senator Hopper specifically not to take healthcare, benefits and rights from our hard working Wisconsin families; just so Senator Hopper and those who find other ways out of the Wisconsin tax system can continue to enjoy Wisconsin’s great government services without paying their fair share.

Governor Walker, Joint Finance and Senator Hopper: Throw this bill away and start over with a bill that is truly fair to all of Wisconsin's working families.

Thank you.