OP-ED: How State Republicans Missed Opportunities for Wisconsin Families, While Democrats and Gov. Evers Championed Constituent Concerns This Legislative Session

From affordable child care and paid family leave, to abortion care, fully funded public schools, clean water and marijuana legalization, Wisconsinites want leaders who deliver on the issues that matter most to us.

But as we look back on the year that was, we see time and again the Republican controlled legislature not only ignored the issues that matter to Wisconsin families, but obstructed action from Gov. Evers and legislative Democrats to deliver real solutions to issues facing our families and communities.

When given a chance to send more resources to students at public schools and address Wisconsin’s teacher shortage, for example, state Republicans responded by introducing bills that target LGBTQ+ youth, ban books, and put individual teachers and librarians at risk of prosecution if said books are not banned.

At the beginning of the year, Gov. Evers introduced a biennial budget proposal that prioritized the people of Wisconsin through: putting more money into middle class pockets, ensuring fully funded schools and affordable childcare, addressing mental health needs, lowering healthcare costs, nurturing a cleaner environment, creating family supporting jobs, and further protecting our freedom to vote.

But the Republican-authored budget that landed on the governor’s desk months later was a far cry from the budget Wisconsinites endorsed when they re-elected Gov. Evers last fall – all because Republicans slashed more than 500 items from the governor’s budget.

With a record state budget surplus, Gov. Evers and state Democrats supported measures to help families with rising costs by providing affordable child care, paid family leave, and more. GOP legislators responded with a failed tax scheme that would have let the wealthiest avoid paying what they owe at the expense of the rest of us.

Wisconsinites deserve better than the horrible choices made by legislative Republicans this year. Call your legislator at 1-800-362-9472 and demand they work together with Gov. Evers on real solutions to issues facing hardworking Wisconsin families.

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A Better Wisconsin Together is a state-based research and communications hub for progressives and is an affiliate of ProgressNow.