Budget hearing wrap-up - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Budget hearing wrap-up

By Bonnie Shelton

STEVENS POINT (WAOW)--People traveled from all over the state to speak out at the Joint Finance Committee hearing. From school teachers to small business owners, many are unhappy with the way the state is balancing the budget.

The crowd was much smaller than anticipated on the UWSP campus. State patrol, UWSP security and Stevens Point Police were all on hand to help organize the crowd, but spent most of the day watching a steady stream of people file in and out of the Quandt Fieldhouse.

Many people were eager to stand before state officials and point out how budget cuts will negatively them. Passionate testimony was heard throughout the day and some local administrators even made the trip to Point.

Dean Zuleger, Weston Village Administrator, spoke to the Committee about the budget's affects on smaller municipalities. "Everybody is mad about this budget. So this is the time to do real work, not just band-aid kind of stuff that can be ripped off by recall elections, but real surgery to make the state better," he said.

Teachers also took the time to make their voices heard.

"Our students from low-income families are going to be devastated by this budget. Everybody up there on the panel got to go to school, everyone up there got educational opportunities. These guys deserve as much," said Jennifer Ludeman of Tomorrow River Schools.

A small group of protestors gathered around five o'clock to show their disapproval of Governor Walker and his budget. They chanted familiar slogans and carried signs in opposition of the budget and the Governor's union-busting bill.

State Representatives told Newsline 9 they are taking into account everyone's testimony, but are working hard to avoid tax increases.

This was the only public hearing in the central Wisconsin area. Two more will be held in Superior and West Allis.

Online Reporter: Bonnie Shelton

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