One of the four Democrats in the governor’s recall election unveiled a comprehensive plan today to review the state’s tax structure, restore funding for schools, and revive rail service. At a news conference, Senator Kathleen Vinehout of Alma did not say how much her plans would cost – but she admitted it would take a number of years to restore the one-point-one billion dollars cut from public schools and the U-W in the last state budget. If elected on June fifth, Vinehout said she would propose an emergency school funding bill by May of 2013, and restore all education cuts over time. She also said the state needs a top-to-bottom review of its taxing structure to make it quote, “fair and rational.” Vinehout said Wisconsin should get away from using the local property tax to pay for local governments – but she did not give an alternative. She also promised to create a panel to study transportation funding, bring back regional transit authorities that can tax people for bus-and-train service, and urge the federal government to provide money for high-speed rail service. She would also work to set up a Milwaukee maintenance facility for high-speed trains that the state has dropped. Recent polls show that Vinehout trails her three Democratic challengers for the May eighth governor’s primary. But Vinehout said she’s the best challenger to Governor Scott Walker, saying she has appeal beyond the Democrats’ traditional voter base.
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