Here’s your semi-regular update on how Scott Walker—Wisconsin governor and possible future president of the United States of America—is attempting to drag his state into the ground. In a recent budget proposal, Walker suggests removing $238,000 worth of funding to child advocacy centers, a move so depraved that even the Wisconsin GOP can’t get onboard.
Patrick Marley and Jason Stein of Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel report:
Walker’s budget would have removed $238,000 in guaranteed funding for the state’s 14 child advocacy centers — or $17,000 each — along with another $2.5 million in guaranteed funding for grants to put cops on the beat across the state and divert youth from gangs. Instead, those same programs would compete for about $1.75 million in funding, or one-third less than they get currently in total.
The purpose of a child advocacy center is to give children who are the victims of heinous crimes a safe place to be interviewed by police officers and cared for by medical aids and social service workers. Often the testimonies of underage victims will be recorded in child advocacy centers to protect children from the trauma of a courtroom and the possibility of facing their abusers.
As Safe Harbor Advocacy Center of Dane County program manager Jennifer Ginsburg told the Journal Sentinel, “Would you rather have children do an interview in the back of a police car or in a safe environment?”
Ginsburg had worried that a cut could lead to fewer children served because of a loss of her already small staff, who also serve surrounding counties and have seen an increasing demand for their services.
Before the GOP announcement, Democrats had called for keeping the funding for the child advocates steady or even increasing it, saying it paid dividends for taxpayers and their communities.
“We’ve had more mistakes than we’ve seen in any other budget,” Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) said.
State Republicans on the Legislature’s budget committee have promised to block the cuts to child advocacy centers. Let’s hope they live up to their word. And that people laugh Walker off the presidential ballot in 2016.
Image via Getty.
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