Verified

Did Gov. Scott Walker add $638 million more in K-12 spending to the current budget?

“Our governor cut $1.6B from education … now is putting back $638 million. That’s not progress, it’s an insult,” Mahlon Mitchell, Democratic candidate for governor and president of the state firefighters union, said in a tweet. In examining Mitchell’s claims, the Observatory found it is true that the current budget contains about $638 million more in K-12 spending compared to the previous year. But it is not 100 percent accurate to claim that Walker cut education spending by $1.6 billion in his first two-year budget.

Unobservable

Did Milwaukee’s old residency rule lead to lower quality city workers?

Republican state senator and U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir posted on Facebook on March 6 that the residency rule in Milwaukee “prevented highly qualified teachers, police officers and firefighters from opting to work in the city” and that “removing these barriers helps Milwaukee retain and attract many valuable workers who were once discouraged by the residency rule.” The Observatory found this claim Unobservable.

Mostly False

Vos says armed citizens can defend against shooters; stats show that is rare

Amidst calls for tighter gun restrictions, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, addressed the notion of self-defense in a February claim, stating, “I certainly believe there are an awful lot of folks who are law-abiding who have done nothing wrong who could probably defend themselves.” The Observatory found his claim mostly false.

Verified

Bewley: State economic development spending low in northwest Wisconsin

Since its inception in July 2011, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has offered nearly $2 billion worth of financial awards, such as tax credits, loans and grants, to support economic growth in the state. However, State Sen. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, asserted in a statement on Feb. 9 that WEDC financial awards aren’t equally distributed throughout the state’s regions. When The Observatory ran the math, we found Bewley was right.

Verified

Dem. challenger claims Wisconsin wages low under Gov. Scott Walker

In response to Gov. Scott Walker’s State of the State address in January, Milwaukee attorney and Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Matt Flynn released a statement claiming that “Wisconsin still lags behind the rest of the country in wage growth. Adjusted for inflation, median wages today are lower than they were before (Walker) was elected.” The Observatory rates this claim as Verified.

What do millennials want? More trains and buses, fewer automobiles

Even before he took office in 2011, Gov. Scott Walker rejected $810 million in federal stimulus funding to build a passenger rail route between Madison and Milwaukee. Now, as the state is spending millions to draw more millennials, experts say what these young people want is more trains — and other mass transit.