Christie, Walker and Jindal in Colorado: What’s NOT Working at the State Level

Later today, several Republican Governors including, Christie, Walker and Jindal will appear at a forum in Aspen, CO and will speak on a panel entitled “What’s Working at the State Level?” National Republicans look to their Governors for guidance, the RNC’s autopsy report released earlier this year said, “Republican governors are America’s reformers in chief.” But if you look at these Governors’ records, it’s clear that whatever they may think is “working at the state level” it’s failing middle class families in their states.

“Governors Christie, Walker and Jindal’s records have a lot in common, they all favor economic policies that favor the wealthy over the middle class, have gutted education funding, have not helped their states economies, have stood in the way of pay equity for women and have fought endlessly to restrict women’s access to health care,” said DNC National Press Secretary Michael Czin. “These Republican Governors are not fighting for the middle class and their policies are not working for the people in their states.”

Please see below for background on the key shortcomings of the Christie, Walker and Jindal administrations:


Star-Ledger Editorial: Christie’s “Priorities Are Bent” - “Favoring The Wealthy Over The Middle Class And Poor.” The Star-Ledger wrote of Christie and property taxes: “He compounds the problem by favoring the wealthy over the middle class and poor. Note that when he was faced with a shortfall, he went after the rebate programs, which target relief to the elderly and middle class. But he did not touch the income-tax deduction, which skews more toward the wealthy. The man's priorities are bent.” [Editorial, Star-Ledger, 5/12/13]

Star-Ledger Editorial: Christie “Went After The Rebate Programs, Which Target Relief To The Elderly And Middle Class But He Did Not Touch The Income-Tax Deduction, Which Skews More Toward The Wealthy.” The Star-Ledger wrote of Christie and property taxes: “Christie has cut billions of dollars from property tax rebate programs… He compounds the problem by favoring the wealthy over the middle class and poor. Note that when he was faced with a shortfall, he went after the rebate programs, which target relief to the elderly and middle class. But he did not touch the income-tax deduction, which skews more toward the wealthy. The man's priorities are bent.” [Editorial, Star-Ledger, 5/12/13]

Walker’s Budget Gives 55 Percent Of The Tax Cuts To Those Making More Than $100,000 Per Year. Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism on the budget Scott Walker signed: “Percentage of the $651 million in tax cuts included in the budget that will go to taxpayers making more than $100,000 a year: 55” [Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism, 7/2/13; Legislative Fiscal Bureau REPORT]

Wisconsin Tax Payers Who Make Between $40,000 And $50,000 Will See A $87 Tax Cut In 2014 - Wisconsin Tax Payers Who Make Over $100,000 Will See An Average Tax Cut Of $218 To $1,518 In 2014. [Legislative Fiscal Bureau Report, 6/5/13]

Jindal’s Proposed Tax Plan Would Have “Dramatically Shifted More Of The Burden Of Louisiana’s Taxes Onto Lower-Income Individuals.”  “Last week Louisiana’s Republican Governor Bobby Jindal proposed replacing the state’s individual income and corporate taxes with a higher sales tax. While details are scarce, initial media reports suggest Jindal would both raise the sales tax rate and make more goods and services subject to the levy.  […] But base broadening can also push more of the burden to low-income households. Louisiana currently excludes groceries and utilities from taxation; taxing them would be especially difficult for families with limited resources.  In fact, even without base broadening, the proposal would dramatically shift more of the burden of Louisiana’s taxes onto lower-income individuals. Since low-income households devote a higher share of their income to consumption, they end up paying higher effective tax rates than higher-income households which tend to spend less and save more. This concern is particularly stark in Louisiana, which was recently ranked as the sixth most unequal state in the country by one measure of inequality.” [Tax Policy Center, 1/14/13]


Christie Cut Education By $1 Billion. “The picture may not be the most flattering, but the claims in it are hard facts: New Jersey's governor did cut education by a significant amount, and his actions have resulted in tax-break largesse for businesses… The governor made two cuts to education in 2010 totaling about $1 billion to help close significant budget gaps.” [PolitiFact, 5/23/13]

PolitiFact: Walker's First Budget “Enacted The Biggest Cuts To Education In State History” With A Cut Of Nearly 8 Percent In Year One Of His 2011-2013 Budget. “It may not have been well known to Walker’s audience, but as PolitiFact Wisconsin found, Walker and legislative Republicans enacted the biggest cuts to education in state history in his first budget… For the record, Walker’s cut was deeper, about 8 percent in year one of his 2011-’13 budget, followed by a 1 percent increase in year two.” [PolitiFact, 3/25/13]

Under Jindal, State Funding For Higher Education Has Been Slashed By Almost $650 Million And Tuition Has Risen.  “Since 2008, Louisiana has cut state funding for higher education by almost $650 million, though the Jindal administration notes that much of that has been made up through tuition increases.”  [New Orleans Times Picayune, 3/20/13]


Star-Ledger: Christie’s 2012 “Jersey Comeback” Never Happened.n his State of the State last year, [Christie] promised a ‘Jersey Comeback’ for our economy that never happened.” [Star-Ledger Editorial,1/9/13]

JUNE 2013: New Jersey Had The Sixth Highest Unemployment Rate And Had The Highest Unemployment Rate Among Its Neighbors By Nearly A Point. In June 2013, New Jersey’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.7%. New York’s was 7.5%, Pennsylvania’s rate was 7.5%, Delaware’s was 7.3%, Maryland’s unemployment rates was 7.0% and Connecticut’s was 8.1%. The only states with higher unemployment were: Illinois, Nevada, Rhode Island, North Carolina and Mississippi.  [, Accessed 7/19/13]

HEADLINE: “New Jersey Is A Bad State For Business” [CNBC, 7/13/13]

Walker Ranks 40th Out Of 45 Governors On Job Growth According To Business Journals. “A new national report ranks Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 40th out of 45 governors scored on their job growth records.” [Capitol Times, 6/30/13; Business Journals, 6/27/13]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Even In A Slow Recovery, Wisconsin Has Been On The Caboose.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/13]
HEADLINE: “Fed Index Ranks Wisconsin 49th In Economic Outlook” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/5/13]

Milwaukee Business News: “Wisconsin Ranks Dead Last Out Of 50 States In Short-Term Job Growth, According To A New Report For The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce.” [Milwaukee Business News, 5/1/13]

Under Jindal, Louisiana Has Lost More Than 6,000 Jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Population Survey, Louisana has lost 6,062 jobs since Gov. Jindal took office.  [BLS, accessed 7/19/13]

Only Three States Have A Lower Median Income Than Louisiana.  “The median income for Louisiana residents is about $40,658 a year. That's lower than all but three states: Kentucky, South Carolina and Montana.”  [New Orleans Times Picayune, 3/20/13]

Louisiana’s GDP Growth Is Slower Than  The U.S. And Southeastern States’ Average.  “The gross domestic product of Louisiana grew at a slower rate than the U.S. and Southeastern average in 2012, according to a report released Thursday. The Louisiana GDP increased by 1.5 percent in 2012, compared to a 2.5 percent increase nationally and a 2.1 increase for the Southeast, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.”  [Baton Rouge Advocate, 6/13/13]


Christie Vetoed Equal-Pay Legislation Calling It “Senseless Bureaucracy.” “He also vetoed equal-pay legislation, saying it was ‘senseless bureaucracy,’ and opposed legislation that would eliminate gender wage discrimination in public contracts.” [Robert Weiner & Nakia Gladden Op-Ed, Star-Ledger, 6/7/13]

Green Bay Press-Gazette: “Perhaps The Highest Profile Act By Walker To Fuel Claims He's Waging War Against Women Was His Signing Of A Bill To Repeal The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act” Which Walker Called A “Bogus Issue” That Leads To “Abusive Lawsuits.” “Perhaps the highest profile act by Walker to fuel claims he's waging war against women was his signing of a bill to repeal the 2009 equal pay enforcement act… ‘It's a bogus issue,’ he said. ‘It is against the law to discriminate against women for employment and to pay them less than you pay men, and it will continue to be.’ Repealing the 2009 act was done to clean up redundant legislation and to stop abusive lawsuits, he said.” [Green Bay Press-Gazette, 5/13/12]

Jindal Vetoed Legislation To Create An Equal Pay Task Force For All Workers.  “On the wage front, SB 577 was designed to create an Equal Pay Task Force that would have made recommendations to help close what the bill's sponsor, Sen. Karen Carter-Peterson (D-New Orleans) called ‘one of the nation's largest ` pay gaps.” [NOLA Defender, 6/9/13]


Christie Cut $7.5 Million From Women’s Health Funding. “A group of female legislators is again asking Gov. Chris Christie to restore $7.5 million for women’s health that he cut from the state budget. Perfect timing. If the governor vetoes this funding — for the fifth time — what will his argument be now?” [Editorial, The Star-Ledger, 6/18/13]

Christie’s Cuts To Women’s Health Caused Six Clinics To Close And Others To Reduce Services With 33,000 Fewer Patients Seen. Star-Ledger on Christie’s cuts to women’s health: “As a result, family planning clinics saw at least 33,000 fewer patients last year than in 2009 — a 24 percent drop. The number of clinical breast exams fell more than 30 percent. Six clinics closed, and others had to cut back on hours or increase waiting periods. Fewer regular checkups mean higher health care costs in the future.” [Editorial, The Star-Ledger, 6/18/13]

Associated Press: Walker Signed A Contentious Republican Bill Requiring Women Seeking An Abortion To Undergo An Ultrasound – “The Bill Is Part Of A Broad GOP Push To Dramatically Curtail” Women’s Rights Nationally. “Gov. Scott Walker quietly signed a contentious Republican bill Friday that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and ban doctors who lack admitting privileges at nearby hospitals from performing the procedures… The bill is part of a broad GOP push to dramatically curtail abortions nationally.” [Associated Press, 7/5/13]

Walker Eliminated $1 Million In State Funding For Planned Parenthood Which Caused The Closure Of Four Of Its Clinics Displacing 2,000 Patients. “Planned Parenthood's announcement came months after the organization announced plans in February to close four of its 27 clinics in Wisconsin as the Legislature eliminated $1 million in state funding for the group in the last budget. Planned Parenthood said the closures would affect services such as cancer screenings, breast exams, birth control, STD testing and treatment, and HIV screening provided to 2,000 patients.” [Associated Press, 6/10/13]

Jindal Signed Legislation Adding Further Restrictions On Women's Reproductive Rights. “Gov. Bobby Jindal signed bills Thursday increasing the waiting time between a mandatory ultrasound and an abortion, requiring abortion providers to describe the results of that procedure to the woman and offer to let her hear the fetus' heartbeat and prohibiting anyone who is not a physician from performing abortions. The new restrictions add to requirements that are already considered some of the most stringent abortion regulations in the country, according to groups that support abortion rights.”  [New Orleans Times Picayune, 6/7/12]

Jindal Signed Legislation Banning Abortions After 20 Weeks.  “Doctors will be barred from performing abortions 20 weeks after conception under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Bobby Jindal. Senate Bill 766 by Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego, prohibits all abortions after 20 weeks, about 22 weeks on the typical 40-week gestational calendar.” [New Orleans Times Picayune, 6/11/12]


2011: Christie Cut $540 Million From State Medicaid Funding – Included $140 Million Dropped From Nursing Home Coverage. “[T]he consequences of a U.S. default could still be dire, especially given the recent deep budget cuts by GOP Gov. Chris Christie to programs for the poor. Chris Christie cut $540 million cut from state Medicaid funding in this year's budget; about $240 million comes from specific program cuts, such as $140 million dropped from nursing home coverage.” [Associated Press, 7/29/11]

2010: Christie Cut $12.6 Million From Hospital Charity Care Program Covering Uninsured Residents. “Medical industry professionals reacted to how they will be affected by the governor's belt-tightening measures that he included in his budget presentation Thursday. About $12.6 million will be cut from the hospital Charity Care program. Charity Care is a state program that ensures access to hospital service for New Jersey's uninsured residents. They're usually for those who are not covered by other health care programs like Medicaid, Medicare or Family Care.” [Gloucester County Times, 2/12/10]

Walker’s Decision To Reject Available Federal Medicaid Expansion Funds Will Cost Wisconsin Taxpayers $119 Million. “Additional amount state taxpayers will pay because of the decision by the Walker administration, backed by the GOP-controlled Legislature, to reject available federal funds for Medicaid expansion, as estimated by the fiscal bureau: $119 million.”  [Wisconsin Center For Investigative Journalism, 7/2/13; Legislative Fiscal Bureau REPORT]

Wisconsin Would Save $119 Million And Cover 85,000 More Adults If Walker Accepted The Federal Medicaid Expansion. “Wisconsin would save $119 million and cover nearly 85,000 more adults if it did a full Medicaid expansion under federal health reform instead of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed partial expansion, according to a nonpartisan report.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 5/29/13]

Jindal Has Steadfastly Refused To Expand Medicaid, Denying Coverage To 400,000 Uninsured Louisianans.  “Gov. Bobby Jindal is holding firm on his rejection of a federal Medicaid expansion, even as other Republican governors across the country are doing an about-face and accepting the new program.  […]  About 20 percent of Louisiana residents currently lack medical insurance, and the expansion, which would cover about 400,000 people in the state, would cut that percentage in half, according to the petition. The program would also bring an extra $15.7 billion into the state during the next decade, an infusion that would spur economic growth, the petition argues.”  [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 2/6/13]

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