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Investing in Wisconsin’s Future

Should Wisconsin include funding for the testing of our surface, ground and drinking water in our state budget, in order to be able to hold accountable businesses that release toxic “forever chemicals” into our environment?

Should Wisconsin be the only state in the country that has refused to expand health insurance to more adults and kids living in poverty, resulting in a loss of $1.6 billion in federal funding to cover the expansion?

Do you think big box stores like Walgreens should be able to lower their tax assessments by comparing their stores to shuttered retailers with lower values? Should homeowners have to make up the difference in this lost revenue through our property taxes?

Should Wisconsin invest in a new unemployment system, replacing antiquated computer systems that resulted in unemployment benefits being held up for months during an international health pandemic? Should unemployed Wisconsinites have to wait a week before applying for benefits? Should disabled people receiving Social Security be eligible for unemployment benefits?

Should Wisconsin voters get to decide whether or not to increase their own local taxes up to a limit of 0.5%, or should that be the state legislature’s call?

Do you think Wisconsin students who live in poverty should have free access to driver ed classes?

Wisconsin Republicans on the state legislature’s budget-writing committee say no to all of the above and then some, stripping out nearly 400 items from Governor Evers’ budget only hours after the deadline for receiving comments from the public. Guess they already had their minds made up, and don’t need advice from any of us—the constituents they’re elected to serve.

Republicans also eliminated many policy items in the budget, like banning vaping at schools, requiring background checks for all gun purchases, and banning police from using no-knock warrants. Some argue that these policy discussions should take place outside of the state budget process, even though governors like Scott Walker often used the budget to advance their policy agendas. But you may recall that Gov. Evers called for legislative discussion, if not action, many times during the past few years. Most recently, he called for special legislative sessions on gun safety and police reform. But Republicans who control when and if the state legislature meets ignored his call, gaveling in and out of the special sessions within minutes. Even though WI taxpayers pay each legislator nearly $51,000 annually, even though WI Democrats begged their Republican colleagues to meet and take up measures to fight COVID spreading like wildfire through the state, the Republicans stayed home.

Do you recall ten years ago, when Walker sprung Act 10 on legislative Dems, and 14 of them left the state, trying to prevent the governor and his Republicans colleagues from ramming through the legislation, designed primarily to weaken unions (except for pro-Republican police and fire unions)? The Dems were gone for 22 days then, in a failed attempt to force open debate. Remember how angry some of you were with them? Do you feel the same way about Republican legislators failing to do their jobs for nearly nine months last year? That’s not the governor refusing to work with Republicans. That’s on them, failing to show up when we needed them the most.

How did we get here? This is a result of the extreme gerrymandering put into place a decade ago by Walker and Company. WI Republicans can do anything they want—or in the case of staying home most of last year, anything they DON’T want—because most of them are in rigged, “safe” districts where electing a Democrat is nearly impossible. And they’re about to do it again. They’ve already spent thousands of our tax dollars hiring attorneys to help them get ready to rig new maps.

What can we do about it? You know the answer. Call/email/write them ( Tell them enough is enough. Remind them that democracy works best when the people being governed participate in the process.

Support the governor’s commission to create fair maps (

And when it comes time, remember, and vote.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck,, at


  1. Very thoughtful and inspirational Jill. Government isn’t “them”, it is us. We are part of the process. Thank you for the reminder to stay involved.

    • So true, Janet: it is “us” whether we believe it or not; whether or not we have the grit, the energy and or tenacity to keep at. Thank you for continuing to being a part of the process!

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