It’s common for any individual to set goals and plan for their future. Parents want what’s best for their kids as they make their way through school; college students prepare for the workforce after graduation; and workers have to plan for their retirement. Having foresight and the ability to plan ahead for these events prepares for the best possible outcomes and reaching those goals.
That same logic should be used when crafting our state budget. If we want our next generation to succeed we need a budget with bold solutions that helps our state grow and flourish. Without it, we remain stuck in the same revolving door that gets us nowhere.
That’s why there was overwhelming support for Gov. Tony Evers’ original state budget proposal. It was the first time in eight years that Wisconsinites finally saw a budget vision that is reflective of our needs and connects the dots to propel our state forward.
If we want our workforce of tomorrow to be successful, we need to make investments in our students and classrooms today. Gov. Evers’ budget invested a total of $1.4 billion more into local classrooms. Republicans rejected that proposal and cut over $500 million in special education funding from the budget.
Gov. Evers’ budget accepted $1.3 billion in federal funds to expand Medicaid and increase affordable health care coverage to 82,000 Wisconsinites while also lowering premiums. Republicans blocked that proposal and rejected money that could be used to address the opioid epidemic, improve access to dental and mental health care, and increase funding for nursing home and dementia care specialists.
Instead, the Republican plan covers fewer people with a higher price tag.
The governor’s budget made historic investments to help communities that are grappling with crumbling roads and flood damage, expand broadband services and ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water. All were rejected by Republicans.
Gov. Evers’ original budget proposal was a responsible plan for families and communities that have been ignored for too long. Rather than living with the failed policies of the past, we need to move forward with innovative solutions that promote a fair economy and expand opportunities for families, students and seniors.
Quality schools, affordable health care and clean drinking water are vital to restoring Wisconsin’s reputation as a place where the next generation wants to live, work and raise a family.
Our state, our communities and our families deserve the Democratic vision that works toward better outcomes and a brighter tomorrow.
State Sen. Jennifer Shilling serves as the Senate Democratic Leader and represents the 32nd District, which covers La Crosse, Vernon, Crawford and parts of Monroe counties.