OP-ED: Progressive Leaders Showed Up for Wisconsinites This Legislative Session

While GOP state lawmakers recently ended the 2023-2024 legislative session prematurely and have gone home for the year in early March, progressive leaders are continuing to stand up for Wisconsinites, just as they did all session long, despite relentless obstruction from their Republican colleagues.

From affordable child care and health care to paid family leave, reproductive freedom, clean water, fair maps, and fully funded public schools, bills introduced by Democratic lawmakers this session offer tangible solutions to real issues faced by average Wisconsin families.

When GOP legislators refused to support Child Care Counts funds that would help Wisconsin families find and afford child care and keep local child care centers in business, Governor Evers found a way to invest $170 million into the program.

After a poll found that 73% of Wisconsinites believe employers should provide comprehensive paid family and medical leave to employees, Rep. Francesca Hong and Sen. LaTonya Johnson and their Democratic colleagues introduced a paid leave bill that would ensure all Wisconsin workers have the time to care for themselves or for their loved ones when needed – without worrying about losing their job or making ends meet.

Democratic lawmakers also stood up for our reproductive freedoms this session, introducing bills like the Reproductive Freedom Act from Rep. Hong and Sen. Kelda Roys and the Right to Contraception Act from Sen. Dianne Hesselbein and Rep. Lisa Subeck. Both bills would protect and expand abortion access and ensure all Wisconsinites, regardless of income or zip code, can access and afford birth control.

Access to clean drinking water is another pressing issue for Wisconsin families, which is why Democrats like Sen. Brad Pfaff and Rep. Jill Billings introduced a bill this year that would ban the use of PFAS in most products, and why Gov. Evers has vowed to veto a GOP bill that would let corporate polluters off the hook for contaminating Wisconsinites’ water.

Gov. Evers also used his veto power this legislative session to end a bill from Republicans that would have banned life saving health care coverage for LGBTQ+ youth.

Overall, it’s clear who is listening to Wisconsinites and putting us first.

Call your representative today at 1-800-362-9472 and thank them for standing up for Wisconsin families this legislative session in the face of GOP obstruction.

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