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Fox Valley Democrat Says Walker Insulted Single Parents In His Budget Address

Rep. Amanda Struck: Gov. Walker Needs To Apologize

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Woman and girl sitting
erin m (CC BY-NC 2.0)

A Wisconsin lawmaker is demanding an apology from Gov. Scott Walker on behalf of single parents.

Rep. Amanda Stuck, D-Appleton, said Walker insulted young, single parents in this week’s budget address. Stuck, who represents parts of the Fox Valley, said at a news conference Friday that the governor should apologize for his remarks in Wednesday’s address.

During the address, Walker said, “It is simple. Graduate from school, get a job, and wait until you’re 21 and married to have a child.”

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Stuck, who was a teenage single parent herself, said she’s willing to consider work requirements and drug testing for state assistance. But, she said the governor’s remarks were insulting.

“What he’s always implying is that these people are lazy and they just don’t want to work. That’s not true.”

When Stuck was 19 she was a single parent struggling to make ends meet.

“When I was a single parent on government assistance, I was working two jobs and going to school full time,” she said. “So his insinuations are wrong. They are ignorant, and they are hurtful to people.”

Stuck also criticized Walker for eliminating state funding in 2011 for Planned Parenthood, a provider of birth control.

When he was asked about the remarks and the call for apology, Walker said there is “no need,” and that he wasn’t making “moral” or “ethical” disparagements.

“Pointing out facts is not something to apologize for,” Walker said Friday at a press conference.

Walker has used studies from the Brookings Institution to support his claims that two-parent families are more successful than single-parent families.

“The facts clearly show that individuals who graduate from school, they get a job, they wait until they are at least 21 to get married and have children,” he said. “The research overwhelmingly shows they are going to be successful.”

Walker’s budget proposes increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for people with a dependent child and reducing the so-called “marriage penalty” for couples who qualify.

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